Free «Evaluating Budget Documents» Essay Sample

In the below review we will use online resources and academic articles to successfully evaluate the budget document of the US Administration of Aging (AoA). It is important to review the structure and efficiency of the budget document, as the organization is currently involved in many government-funded programs, including grants to enhance the level of Alzheimer services and long term care. According to Mikesell (2011, p. 470), it is extremely important that budgets and forecasts will be simple to follow and understand. Traditional performance budgets are able to provide measures and a clear organization structure, based on groups of activities and services. (Mikesell, 2011, p. 242.) This statement is in line with the Government’s transparency initiatives as well.

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To successfully justify an agency’s budget, we have to evaluate the completeness, explicitness, consistency and balance of the details, as well as the quantitative data and organization of the document. Mikesell states that (2011, p. 173.) the preparation of agency requests should be based on the central government’s guidelines. We can see that this criteria is met in the AoA budget request document. The central administration needs to allow modest expansions, before comparing the cost of existing operations with the foretasted levels and costs.

The ideology behind budgeting for outcomes is that the agencies should prioritize their tasks based on the results and outcomes. They need to consult with the government as well as the public to provide the services for citizens’ need. All objectives of the budget need to be measured to provide information on efficiency.

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Reviewing the Budget Request to Congress in 2010, it is evident that the caregiver initiative program is supported by the government. (Task Force Meeting, 2010)  The total amount allocated to Home & Community-Based Supportive Services increased by almost a quarter. A total of $102.5 million was allocated for the caregiver initiative supported by the government. The measures are already put in place by Kathy Greenlee, the Assistant Secretary for Aging, setting the targets at supporting 200.000 more caregivers and providing an extra 3 million hours of respite care. It is clearly visible that the respite care and nutrition support programs, initiated by the government are also clearly outlined by the congress and estimates are provided on how this would improve the level of services.

Gray, Jenkins & Segsworth (2001, p. 30.), we can see that there are plenty of issues the government needs to face regarding the separation of powers and political choice. The decision makers need to ensure that the policies and budgets are not only in accordance with the overall goals, but they contain a level of saving and improvement as well, according to  Gray, Jenkins and Segsworth. (2001, p. 33.)

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