chapter  7
The politics of the budgetary process
Pages 32

The budgetary process is part of the political process that affects the public bureaucracy the most. Clearly, if an administrative agency is to accomplish any or all of its mandated tasks it requires an adequate supply of money. In addition to the instrumental need for money, there is a more affective reason for desiring budgetary success. Success in getting money is one means for agencies to demonstrate their political influence, and their importance to the remainder of the political system. On the other side of the green baize table, the budgetary process may be the arena in which political officials demonstrate their power and their concern for the average taxpayer by limiting the amount of money allocated to the public sector, and especially to the less popular programs of government. With increasing pressures on government both to provide services and to contain or reduce its costs, the budgetary process has become a crucial political battleground. It influences not only the prospects of each single governmental agency, but also the prospects of elected officials, the prospects of many citizens for a high quality of life and perhaps the success of the entire economy.