Thursday, November 17, 2016

2017 APPAM Regional Student Conferences

APPAM will host two regional student conferences in 2017. The DC Regional Student Conference will be held on April 7th - 8th, 2016 at George Mason University in Arlington, VA. The California Regional Student Conference will be held on April 9th - 10th at the University of California Riverside in Riverside, CA. During these conferences, students will present research across a wide variety of policy areas, through poster sessions and on conference panels with their peers.

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Session Summary: Budgeting During Recessions

November 10, 2012 10:05 AM

The Role for Innovation and Public Engagement

The roundtable Budgeting During Recessions: The Role for Innovation and Public Engagement  was a discussion on how budgeting is accomplished in a rough economic environment. Donald J. Boyd, University of Albany, moderated the session. Stuart Kasdin, George Washington University, led off the session with how the budget process has treated discretionary spending, user fees, and mandatory spending. His paper focused on changes to support an increased focus on program quality in the budget process. One of these changes included creating a new commission reporting to the President, of which the purpose would be to grade the quality of federal programs.

Jason Juffras, a Ph.D. student at George Washington University, followed up with his presentation entitled "Generating Budget Options: Learning from Experts." Jason created a helpful handout that outlined the purpose of his presentation and provided an overview of the key ideas he was about to present. He had conducted a literature examination on the topic of cutback management and examined budget option reports prepared by the CBO, California's Legislative Analyst, New York city's Independent Budget Office, and Chicago's Inspector General. His concluding thoughts were that short-term, "freeze-and-squeeze" responses may be unavoidable but governments might be able to "move faster to more strategic approaches".

Phillip Joyce from the University of Maryland followed with his presentation that focused on late appropriations and the real costs associated with them. He argued that this practice is not costless and wanted to understand the effects. The five major effects he cited were:

  • Delayed hiring and other personnel actions.
  • Training and travel delays and suspensions.
  • Changes in contracting practices which can include the use of multiple short term contracts instead of annual contracts.
  • Increased cost of providing services.
  • Reduced effectiveness and efficiency.

In conclusion, the panelists provided a better understanding of how budgets are affected during recessions and suggested innovative solutions to possibly reduce the negative effects associated with it.

Contributed by Sophia Guevara, Wayne State University

 

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