International Encyclopedia of Public Policy and Administration - Vol. 2

By Jay M. Shafritz | Go to book overview

the United States well for over half a century, but it now appears to be somewhat of an antiquated idea.


Variations of Executive Budgeting

The definition and concept of the executive budget used here fits the U.S. model of a government of separated, independently utilized powers. The chief administrator is an independent actor outside the legislative branch, and the legislators are independent actors who by legal authority and custom are free to change budget requests as they see fit. This, in most respects requires a unique presidential form of government.

A more expansive definition of an executive budget might conclude that any budget prepared by executive branch employees in administrative agencies, the Treasury or Finance Departments, has aspects of an executive budget. In a two-party parliamentary form of government in which the budget request is the result of negotiations among cabinet members (who are actually legislators as well as ministers) and then is presented to the Parliament (in which budget approval is assumed, as long as the majority party retains control), a different model of "executive" budgeting prevails. This is the case even more so in a multiparty parliamentary system in which cabinet ministers negotiate budgetary allocations among the parties before one budget is submitted for approval to Parliament. Whether this represents executive budgeting or not is a matter of opinion, but it does not fit the standard U.S. definition.

For the distinction to be made that something is or is not an executive budget there should be a clear distinction between the legislative branch and the executive. If not, then this simply constitutes a seamless budget without a descriptive adjective "executive." This would also appear to necessitate the ability of the legislature to change what has been submitted by the executive. Thus the submission of a budget by a king or a czar to a parliament that is powerless to make significant changes would in one sense be an executive budget par excellence, but it certainly is not what the current practice considers to be an executive budget.

If the defining characteristics of the executive budget are an independent chief executive and independent legislature, acting within the context of a clear separation of powers, then it is likely that only the United States truly functions under an executive budget concept. Models used in other countries should have different names to differentiate them, such as a Westminster executive budget to specify the parliamentary form of this model. Unique aspects, such as a bureaucracy-based budget or a parliamentarybased budget, are distinguishing features. Simply involving executive branch employees does not make a budget an executive budget in anything but the broadest sense, which has little, if any, analytical benefit.

Exactly what name is attached to the budget is not necessarily as important as how it fits into the structure and process of government in each nation or each supranational government. Fixed commitments for social spending have gained a growing portion of virtually all budgets. These commitments need to be accommodated in any new theory of budgeting, as must credit programs, government-sponsored enterprises, government assets and liabilities, and partially privatized or parastatal entities. In the end, the budget must fit into the structure of government and not vice versa.

BERNARD T. PITSVADA


BIBLIOGRAPHY

U.S. Congress. House. National Budget System, Report No. 4, 67th Cong., 1st sess., 25 April 1921.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR. A title that accompanies the management role for the highest-ranking staff position in a private nonprofit organization. In some states, the heads of public agencies are also referred to as executive directors.

A history of the position of executive director is difficult to reconstruct. Management and leadership have been evidenced by individuals throughout human history. The emergence of the executive director position may have been shaped by the historical and contextual forces that similarly influenced leadership needs in such settings as tribal, military, educational, religious, and political.

Early developments in commerce, followed by improved manufacturing technologies during the Industrial Revolution, led to stronger interests in management techniques during the late 1800s and into the twentieth century. During the same time period that scientific management principles were being advanced, Congress in 1894 created public policy that formally supported tax exemptions for charitable organizations. The development of management as a field of professional practice began to flourish during the first 20 years of the twentieth century. As attention to university programs developed and societies concerned with management practices formed, the importance of senior management positions became significant, not only in business but also in public administration and organizations of the private nonprofit sector.

The title and position of executive director is equivalent to chief executive officer (CEO) or president, both of which are executive management titles generally used in for-profit organizations to designate the foremost decisionmaker who is in charge of operations.

Among private nonprofit organizations, the title of president is often reserved for the highest-ranking volunteer (sometimes called the chief volunteer officer or other

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International Encyclopedia of Public Policy and Administration - Vol. 2
Table of contents

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