Budgeting for Outcomes: Purposes, Programs and Performance

Crawford School of Public Policy

How long?

  • 2 weeks
  • online

What are the topics?

Crawford School of Public Policy

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Who should attend

  • APS (or State/Territory equivalent) officers involved in or with managerial responsibility for preparing and/or advising on Budget proposals, Budget statements, corporate plans, annual reports and/or policy proposals
  • APS (or State/Territory equivalent) officers involved in or with managerial responsibility for preparing reports and/or advising on portfolio, agency or program performance
  • staff in non-government organisations involved in advising on Government relations, interacting with Government entities, or developing and advocating public policy.

About the course

Contemporary public sector budgeting is about explaining the performance story behind the financial numbers, and working with the inevitable contestability around what the numbers mean. It is about how performance information can be used to better frame dialogue around funding priorities, and to actively manage program delivery within budget constraints.

Current sector-wide performance and accountability frameworks emphasise clear linkages between funding and outcomes, and the integration of performance metrics with budget decision processes, internal organisational management, and external performance reporting. This course: uses an integrated case study to survey the strengths and weaknesses of performance-based budgeting approaches in the public sector; steps through intervention logic methodologies for specifying purposes, programs and performance metrics; outlines the role of cost information in performance analysis; and offers an opportunity to apply and appraise these approaches in the context of participants’ own organisational settings.

Course overview

Current sector-wide performance and accountability frameworks, such as the Commonwealth Enhanced Performance Framework and the NSW Outcome Budgeting Framework, emphasise the integration of clear and consistent performance metrics with budget decision processes, internal organisational management, and external performance reporting. Program budget structures are the standard ‘line-of-sight’ platform for reporting and linking information to inform the Budget performance cycle: budget statements set out intended allocation of resources and prospective performance; corporate plans set out how entities will manage program delivery and measure progress; and annual reports set out analysis of actual achievement against forecast performance. This two day course outlines methodologies for specifying foundational budget program information and the way this information can be used at selected points in the Budget performance cycle. The structure and content of the course will cover a selection of the following:

  • Day 1 – an overview of performance-based budgeting in the public sector; an outline of illustrative current performance frameworks; an overview of program classification and intervention logic methods; application of methodologies to specify outcomes, purposes and programs
  • Day 2 – an overview of non-financial performance information and the role of basic cost information; application of intervention logic methodologies to develop and select non-financial performance metrics and the role of basic cost information; application of methodologies to selected functions of participants’ organisations; survey of the strengths and weaknesses of performance information use in public budgeting; outline of the use of performance stories to frame budget and program dialogue in constrained resource settings.

The course uses a mix of interactive case teaching approaches and short topic lectures. The course is underpinnined by an integrated, multi-part case scenario to help illustrate key concepts and apply key methodologies. Approximately half of the course will be devoted to structured syndicate work and practice exercises where students interact with peers and the instructor to apply concepts and methods. There is brief pre-reading in the form of the case scenario documents and 1-2 short context readings.

Learning outcomes:

  • understanding of performance-based budgeting approaches
  • knowledge of key information requirements for performance-based budgeting and reporting
  • knowledge of and practice in applying methodologies for specifying public purposes, budget programs and performance metrics
  • knowledge of basic cost information and its relationship to performance analysis and advocacy in Budget processes.

Outcomes:

The Budget process and associated performance accountability frameworks for various levels of government (federal, state/territory) require specific knowledge and competencies in conducting analysis and preparing documents that:

  • explain the purpose of government activities
  • explain the linkages between proposed or existing government activities and resource allocations and their management, and
  • measure and explain performance in terms of achievement and the efficient use of resources.

These competencies, which include understanding of key performance concepts and analytical methodologies, can be applied in all public sector organisations required to prepare Budget advice/documentation and/or corresponding performance accountability advice/documentation. This can be at both strategic and operational levels.

Anticipated behavioural and business impacts include:

This course will provide a core set of knowledge and methods that can be applied:

  • by APS (or State/Territory equivalent) staff preparing and/or advising on Budget proposals, Budget statements, corporate plans, annual reports and policy proposals, or preparing reports and/or advising on portfolio, agency or program performance
  • by staff in non-government organisations in preparing advice on Government relations, interacting with Government entities in the Budget process or program delivery, or developing public policy for advocoacy purposes.

Experts

Michael Di Francesco

Michael Di Francesco joined the Crawford School of Public Policy in November 2019 as Senior Lecturer in Policy and Governance, specialising in public sector management. He was previously Associate Professor in Public Sector Management and Director of the Case Program (John L. Alford Case Library)...

Budgeting for Outcomes: Purposes, Programs and Performance at Crawford School of Public Policy

From  2495 AUD$1,815

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