International Encyclopedia of Public Policy and Administration - Vol. 2

By Jay M. Shafritz | Go to book overview

TABLE V.
PERCENTAGE OF CITIES THAT USE PRIOR DATA IN MAKING MULTIYEAR PROJECTIONS OF THE GENERAL FUND
HISTORICAL DATA
What Is
Projected
from the
General Fund
not
used
< 5
years
5-10
years
> 10
years
not
specified
Revenues 0.0 46.3 42.6 9.3 1.9
Expenditures 0.9 64.8 29.6 3.7 0.9
SOURCE: John P. Forrester, 1991. "Multi-Year Forecasting and Municipal Budget-
ing." Public Budgeting and Finance, vol. 11, no. 2 (Summer): 47-61.

Exactly which costs (indirect, opportunity, and so on) are included is not clear. Sixty-eight percent also include the forecast's implications for policy, while 62 percent reflect on the level of services produced by the city. Out-year expenditure forecasts tend to be "used some" by the Finance Department and the City Manager (see Table VI). Both need the expenditure information to budget-departments are responsible for providing specific services and the city manager is responsible for administering the services. Other actors also use the expenditure forecast, but they and the finance director are a little more likely to use revenue projections. For all users this may be partly a function of their responsibilities. Budget and finance directors, for example, are responsible for keeping a positive revenue flow so the city does not run a deficit. And the interest by councils and mayors in revenue estimates is likely in reaction to fiscal stress and cuts in federal grants-in-aid experienced by several local governments.

In conclusion, estimating future expenditures is becoming an increasingly important activity of all governments. The demand for expenditure forecasting arose out of the strides made in budgetary reform. How governments will view expenditure forecasting in the future will also be a product of how the budget process comes to be conceptualized, as incremental, rational, or otherwise. The forecasting methods available now and then will range from the most simple to the extremely complex and demanding. In the end, the measure of expenditure forecasting's value will be whether it is used to help governments budget for the future.

JOHN P. FORRESTER


BIBLIOGRAPHY

Boswell, Charles R., and J. Carpenter Mark, 1986. "Long-Range Financial Forecasting in Fort Worth." Government Finance Review 2 (December): 7-10.

Davis, Otto A., M. A. H. Dempster, and Aaron Wildavsky, 1966. "A Theory of the Budgetary Process." American Political Science Review 60 (September): 529-547.


TABLE VI.
BUDGET ACTORS AND HOW USEFUL THEY FIND FORECASTING IN MAKING DECISIONS (EXPENDITURES/REVENUES)
FY FY + 1 FY + 2 FY + 3
Departments 2.92/2.68 1.91/1.89 1.24/1.16 1.01/0.87
City Managera 3.39/3.17 2.75/2.67 2.18/2.13 1.67/1.56
Budget/Finance
Director
3.63/3.52 3.12/3.12 2.50/2.55 2.04/2.10
City Council 2.79/2.80 2.09/2.11 1.33/1.30 0.94/0.92
Mayor 2.77/2.81 2.07/2.23 1.40/1.52 1.14/1.18
a Number of respondent cities that are City Manager = 67.
Note: Figures are based on a five-point scale, from 0 to 4: 0 = projections for (the
given fiscal year [FY]) are never used; 1 = projections for (the given FY) are used a
little; 2 = projections for (the given FY) are used some; 3 = projections for (the
given FY) are used a lot; and 4 = projections for (the given FY) are always used.
SOURCE: John P. Forrester, 1991. "Budgetary Constraints and Municipal Revenue
Forecasting". Policy Sciences 24: 333-356.

Forrester, John E. 1991. "Multi-Year Forecasting and Municipal Budgeting." Public Budgeting and Finance, vol. 11, no. 2 (Summer): 47-61.

-----, 1991. "Budgetary Constraints and Municipal Revenue Forecasting." Polity Sciences 24: 333-356.

Novick, David, ed., 1965. Program Budgeting. Program Analysis and the Federal Budget, a Rand Corporation-sponsored research study. Washington, DC: GPO.

Page, William, 1982. "Long-Term Forecasts and Why You Will Probably Get It Wrong." In Spyros Makridakis and Steven C. Wheelwright , eds., The Handbook of Forecasting New York: John Wiley & Sons, 449-456.

Plesko, George A., 1987. "Government Forecasts and Budget Projections: An Analysis of Recent History." U.S. Treasury Department, OTA Paper 58 (October).

Schroeder, Larry, 1981. "Forecasting Local Revenues and Expenditures." In J. Richard Aronson and Eli Schwartz, eds., Management Policies in Local Government Finance. Washington, DC: ICMA, 66-90.

U.S. Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government, 1955. Budgeting and Accounting. A Report to Congress. Washington, DC: GPO.

U.S. Congress. Congressional Budget Office, 1976. Five-Year Budget Projections, Fiscal Years 1978-1982. (December). Washington DC: GPO.

-----, 1984. Federal Debt and Interest Costs. (September). Washington, DC: GPO.

-----, 1988-1989. Responsibilities and Organization. Washington, DC: GPO.

U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on the Budget. One Hundredth Congress, Second Sess., S. Prt. 100-189. 1988. The Congressional Budget Process: An Explanation. Washington DC: GPO.

U.S. Executive Office of the President, Bureau of the Budget, 1950. Work Measurement in Performance Budgeting and Management Improvement. Washington, DC: GPO.

-852-

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International Encyclopedia of Public Policy and Administration - Vol. 2
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