The Problem of a National Budget

The Problem of a National Budget

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The Problem of a National Budget

The Problem of a National Budget

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Excerpt

The following papers have this in common. Though written at different times, they all have for their purpose the consideration of that most fundamental of all problems of our public administration, the formulation and operation of an efficient system for the conduct of the financial operations of our national government.

The Institute for Government Research has from its establishment been convinced that a major contribution to the cause of good administration could be made by subjecting the problem of financial administration in all of its phases to an intensive study. The first three volumes of the series of "Studies in Administration," published by it, relate to this subject. In the first is given a description of the system of financial administration of Great Britain, the country which has the oldest and best developed budgetary system in the world. In the second is provided a translation of René Stourm's notable work on the Budget, which gives an excellent and detailed account of the French budgetary system. In the third is given a study of the Canadian budgetary system, prepared along the lines of the volume on the British system. This last volume has the special value of showing how the British system works under conditions differing from those that prevail in the mother country, and resembling those that exist in the United States. As there shown, the failure of the Canadian system to give results equally as satisfactory as those secured under the British system is due, in considerable part at least, to the absence of traditions and conventions governing public conduct, or what Mr. Edward Porritt in his review of the British volume for the American Political Science Review so aptly terms the "treasury conscience."

Several other volumes relating to the budgetary problem are now in preparation by the Institute, and it is hoped that they will soon be ready for publication. The first of these will give an historical and critical account of the important efforts made in recent . . .

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