Promising Practices Promising PracticesPromising Practices
A forum for government's best ideas and most innovative leaders.

Managing Tight Budgets—California Style

ARCHIVES
larry1235/Shutterstock.com

This week, the IBM Center for the Business of Government released a report on how California’s budgetary experiences during the past several years can provide lessons learned and roadmaps for federal, state and local governments facing fiscal constraints.

In the report “Managing Budgets During Fiscal Stress: Lessons for Local Government Officials,”  Jeremy M. Goldberg of the University of San Francisco and Max Neiman of the University of California at Berkeley analyze the financial experiences of local government in California from 2007 to 2013 and make recommendations for managing agencies under budget constraints. Like many local governments across the nation, cities and counties in California were heavily affected by recent economic problems. The report examines what happened to government revenues during this period, how services were adjusted, how employee benefits were treated, and what innovations were introduced.

The report is based on a Web-based survey of 245 city officials and interviews with chief financial officers in most of the state’s major cities—Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Riverside, Pasadena and Los Angeles. The authors write, “There has always been much interest in the state with 12 percent of the nation’s population. The experiences of California provide les­sons for local governments across the nation as they seek to manage the continuing aftershocks of the Great Recession.”

The authors present findings in 14 different areas about the California experience and its applicability to all levels of government. Their recommendations include:

  • Identify and address structural deficits in a finely grained manner, leaving no major budget category unexamined.
  • Foster citizen engagement to encourage widespread dissemination of fiscal information to enhance the legitimacy of public policy choices.
  • Improve the state/local relationship to reduce episodic, convulsive impacts on public finance.

This report continues the IBM Center’s interest in local govern­ment. In 2013, the center issued “A County Manager’s Guide to Shared Services in Local Government,” which addresses how government can save money by improving internal opera­tions. In their survey of local officials, Neiman and Goldberg found that more than 60 percent rate cost containment as a “very important” or “important” factor in reducing expenditures in future years.

(Image via larry1235/Shutterstock.com)

FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.