Performance Budgeting:

State Experiences and Implications for the Federal Government

AFMD-93-41: Published: Feb 17, 1993. Publicly Released: Feb 17, 1993.

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GAO reported on the uses and limitations of performance measurement and budgeting as experienced by selected states.

GAO found that: (1) representatives from all groups of state officials generally supported performance budgeting and thought there ought to be a stronger connection between performance and resource allocations; (2) nearly all officials interviewed were dissatisfied with the measures currently included in their budget documents; (3) legislators thought that current performance measures have little credibility and are of little or no use in allocating resources; (4) most legislators still rely on budgeting by expense categories; (5) legislative officials recognized that performance information can enhance oversight of executive branch actions, but that it can also complicate resource allocation decisions; (6) legislative staff cited short legislative sessions, small staffs, and the need to respond to constituent priorities as factors inhibiting legislators' ability to use or develop performance measures; (7) central staff officials stated that performance measures had been useful for internal agency management purposes and justifications for initial budget formulations; (8) program managers tended to be more optimistic about the detailed performance measures that were kept internal to their agency and said that these measures had been more useful for management improvement efforts than in the budget process; and (9) central budget staff tended to rely on across-the-board reductions, except for the highest priority programs, during periods of fiscal stress.

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