- About AABPA
- Career Development
- Universities & Students
- Publications & Resources
- Speakers Bureau
- Join Us
Federal Budget Professionals Survey
Federal budget professionals are primed for the coming budget battles, according to first ever survey of federal budget professionals
A new interactive version of the report is now available!
Thad Juszczak, director in Grant Thornton's Global Public Sector practice, on In Depth with Francis Rose
Jonathan Stehle, AABPA President, on In Depth with Francis Rose
More news articles about the survey:
Government Executive February Issue - "Going on a Cash Diet"
Many government employees dread the coming budget cuts. But federal budget professionals look forward to the challenge of crafting smaller budgets that still achieve the government’s goals and objectives. This is one of the findings in the first ever comprehensive survey of federal budget professionals conducted by the American Association for Budget and Program Analysis (AABPA) and Grant Thornton LLP.
This report, The Road Forward: The Federal Budget and Budgeting Profession, is based on a survey of 231 federal budget professionals, or budgeteers, conducted in the spring and summer of 2011. Survey respondents identified low priority activities as the first to go when they cut their budgets. However, over half the respondents had trouble complying with the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) FY 2012 budget guidance of a five percent reduction. The reason: stakeholder issues and statutory mandates limit what can practically be cut.
“Budgeteers love to be in the trenches, dealing with some of the most critical issues of our day, including the fiscal sustainability of the government,” says Jon Stehle, President of AABPA and a senior analyst at the Government Accountability Office (GAO). “They have the skills needed to make a difference, and they know the skills needed by the next generation of budgeteers, like analytics and clear and concise writing.”
Survey respondents report that an effective budget process lets them work closely with agency program managers and gives them timely guidance from agency leadership. The resulting budget then persuasively explains both the agency’s funding needs and the impact those funds will have as they link the budget to the results their investment will produce for the American people.
“The future is clearly smaller budgets, and agencies are challenged to cut their budgets intelligently,” says Hank Steininger, Managing Partner of Grant Thornton’s Global Public Sector practice. “Cutting some travel and training and freezing hiring is not going to be enough. Preparing and using integrated budget and performance information offers agencies a powerful tool to accomplish their missions with significantly less funding.”
This survey of federal budget professionals finds that preparing and justifying agency budgets is still job one, but integrating performance information with the budget remains a challenge. Budgeteers say they need better technology to support the budget process. And yet, in spite of all the problems and frustrations, they are surprisingly satisfied with their jobs.
AABPA would like to thank Grant Thornton for the support to produce this survey.