Linking Performance and Budgeting: Opportunities in the Federal Budget Process
This report presents an overview and history of performance budgeting in the federal government. Professor Joyce presents a comprehensive view of how performance information can be used at the various stages of the budget process: preparation, approval, execution, and audit and evaluation.
Professor Joyce finds that previous studies of the use of performance information in the federal budget process have tended to focus almost exclusively on uses by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget and the Congress. This is an incomplete view, argues Joyce, because it fails to recognize the opportunities to use performance information at other important stages of the budget process. He also describes how performance-based information is used at the department and agency level.
The challenge of linking budget to performance information is a key component of the President’s Management Agenda. The linking of funding decisions to program performance information is the next step in the implementation of the Government Performance and Results Act. While increasing the amount of performance information available in the budget process will not answer the vexing resource trade-offs involving political choices, it does have the promise of modifying and informing policy decisions and resource allocation by shifting the focus of debate from inputs to outcomes and results. Pursuing the systematic and integrated use of performance, budget, and financial information is essential to achieving a more results-oriented and