Importance of budgeting to the decision making process

Policy making is, perhaps, the most difficult function of the government. This is mainly due to the risks that are taken during the formulation of policies and the standardization which characterizes the process.

The government reduces the challenges of policy making by using budgeting techniques in order to ensure that the policies formulated and implemented achieve the results they are intended to achieve (Sade, 2008, p. 1). This also ensures minimal problems as plans are implemented. This paper discusses the importance of budgeting in the making of policies.

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Whenever a policy involving the expenditure of federal government and state funds is laid out, the policy must have a detailed analysis of the methods that are to be used in its implementation and a detailed budget. This requirement necessitates the involvement of the congress and voters in the policy making process (Sade, 2008, p. 1).

Therefore, congress approval has to be sought by the government whenever it makes policies. Additionally, before any policy is implemented or cancelled, specific rules and regulations that are set have to be met.

The above discussion is an indication of the great importance of budgeting in policy making. The reasons for the discussed importance are numerous. First, in order to successfully implement policies, a precise budget must be prepared.

The budget ensures that the project suggested by the policy does not run out of funds before its completion and it also ensures that the project does not have surplus funds which could be misused (O’Regan, 2010, p. 1). Therefore, precise budget is desirable in this case to ensure that state and federal resources are maximally utilized in their intended projects.

Another reason for the importance of budgeting in policy making is that almost all policies affect each other financially. Thus if the government funds the various states to implement a certain policy, the money has to have a source, which could make them abandon other important projects. Thus the aforementioned projects could either be halted or forgone.

For instance, the “No Child Left Behind Plan” (Sade, 2008, p. 1) was imposed by the government on the states without government funding. Schools had to find a way to fund this project. The results of such projects may turn out to be disastrous, especially if the party expected to find funds for the project has limited means. In the aforementioned plan, schools had to find money from funded programs to implement the plan.

This obviously affected other projects planned by individual schools. Another example stressing the necessity of budgeting is the formulation of policies that lead to military action (Birkland, 2005, p. 17). For instance, if a certain amount of money is directed towards the funding of a war, this will have immediate effects on the taxpayers. This explains why the president’s decision to request for money for use in war must be approved by the government and the taxpayers.

As evidenced in the discussion above, budgeting is an inseparable part of policy making. Budgets make policies achieve the results they are intended to achieve and the lack of a budget in a given policy makes it susceptible to failure. It is thus of essence that every policy that the government makes has a carefully planned budget to ensure that the policy achieves its intended objectives and avoid wastage of resources.

Reference List

Birkland, T. (2005). An introduction to the policy process. New York. Barnes & Noble.

O’Regan, M. (2010). Bank inquiry should examine government policy, says Kenny. Retrieved June 17, 2010, from,

Sade, D. (2008). Importance of budgeting when policy making. Retrieved June 17, 2010, from,


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