Budget Process Principle 1

Establish Broad Goals to Guide Government Decision-Making


1. Assess community needs, priorities, challenges, and opportunities

The limited resources of a government should be directed in a manner consistent with the concerns, need, and priorities of stakeholders; hence, a government must be aware of those concerns, needs, and priorities. This practice promotes participation in discussing and communicating values and issues that are of concern to stakeholders.

Mechanisms for assessing need:

  • Public hearings
  • Surveys
  • Meetings of leading citizens and citizen interest groups
  • Meetings with government employees
  • Workshops

Factors affecting the community:

  • Economic and financial factors
  • Demographic trends
  • Legal or regulatory issues
  • Social and cultural trends
  • Physical or environmental factors
  • Intergovernmental issues
  • Technological changes


2. Identify Opportunities and Challenges for Government Services, Capital Assets, and Management

A government should identify and assess the programs and services that it provides, their purpose and factors that could affect their provision in the future. Programs may become outdated or ineffective, assessing them enables a government to make necessary changes. An assessment of capital assets will verify the condition of the assets and factors that could affect the need for or ability to maintain them in the future. Management systems should be evaluated for strengths and weaknesses and factors that could affect them in the future.


3. Develop and Disseminate Broad Goals

Identify goals based on the previously performed assessments of the community. Broad goals define the priorities and preferred future state of the community or area served. After identifying goals, the goals should be disseminated and reviewed with stakeholders.


Best Practices