Be A Budget Muckraker

Commendable improvements in budget documents have made over the years, making them easier to understand. If you check the 2006 proposed budget, a citizen can review, in detail, the spending plans by secretariat.

The budget includes information about the objectives, customers, and performance of each agency under a secretariat. Increased or new spending is justified.

This new transparency is wonderful, but it is of little use unless citizens look it over with an open mind, evaluating if agencies are really providing appropriate services and if their performance measures are valid and substantive. I would encourage those with some interest or knowledge in a certain area–social services, natural resources, or economic development, for example–take a little time to look over some of the budget documentation in those areas. If no one questions what agencies present, the agencies will inevitably make this budget document a meaningless exercise by rote.

One thing I’ve noticed as I’ve perused a few of the agency materials: “taxpayers” aren’t much of a customer or “stakeholder” for some agencies. I’d argue that the first objective of any agency should be providing value to the taxpayers.

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2 responses to “Be A Budget Muckraker”

  1. Jim Bacon Avatar

    Looks like fun! Everybody dig in!

  2. Jim Bacon Avatar

    Thanks for pointing out this stupendous resource, Will. I’ve set up threads for each of the major offices and departments — with links to their corresponding budget summaries. Let’s see if we can get a little citizen input going!!

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