Find budget departments. Budget departments provide information on budgeting, financial information, debt, expenses, financial plans, projects, grant funding, state and federal aid.
A Budget Department is primarily responsible for the development, implementation, and monitoring of the annual budget. Most Budget Departments also prepare multi-year capital improvement plans, long-range financial forecasts, and provide information to policy makers regarding the efficient and effective use of resources. Budget Departments are found at every level of government. However, in smaller cities and towns, the responsibilities of a Budget Department may be incorporated into another office or agency such as the Finance Department or the office of the chief executive. The Budget Department for the federal government is the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
The budget development process begins with the Budget Department, in consultation with the chief executive, establishing budgetary priorities and guidelines for the upcoming fiscal year. The Budget Department assists other departments in formulating their budget requests and oversees the preparation of revenue estimates, including any adjustments to tax rates. This process yields a proposed budget, which is then subject to review, modification, and approval by a finance committee, the legislative body, or both. In many localities, the budget must also be approved at a town meeting or by referendum.
Once approved, the Budget Department coordinates the implementation of the budget and monitors revenues and expenditures throughout the fiscal year. The Budget Department prepares monthly or quarterly reports that depict the status of revenues and expenditures and provides these reports to management, elected officials, and the general public. Significant deviations from the approved budget may result in the Budget Department making recommendations for corrective action.
Budget Departments are often tasked with special projects for improving operational efficiency or the effectiveness of programs or services. Budget Departments may also coordinate the development of performance measures and a performance management system.
Budget Departments also project the likely financial impact of a proposed policy, rule, or program. Management and policy makers can use this information to decide whether to adopt or modify a proposal.