Politics of Public Money, Second Edition

By David A. Good

© 2014

Public money is one of the primary currencies of influence for politicians and public servants. It affects the standards by which they undertake the nation’s business and impacts the standard of living of the nation’s citizens. David A. Good’s The Politics of Public Money examines the extent to which the Canadian federal budgetary process is shifting from one based on a bilateral relationship between departmental spenders and central guardians to one based on a more complex, multilateral relationship involving a variety of players.

This new edition offers an up-to-date account of the Canadian system, including the creation of the Parliamentary Budget Officer, the government’s response to the global financial crisis, Canada’s Economic Action Plan, strategic and operating reviews, the most recent attempts to reform the Estimates, and much more.

An insightful and incisive study of the changing budgetary process, The Politics of Public Money examines the promises and pitfalls of budgetary reform and sheds new light on the role insiders play in influencing government spending.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 416 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 8.9in
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  • PUBLISHED JAN 2014

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Quick Overview

David A. Good’s The Politics of Public Money examines the extent to which the Canadian federal budgetary process is shifting from one based on a bilateral relationship between departmental spenders and central guardians to one based on a more complex, multilateral relationship involving a variety of players.

Politics of Public Money, Second Edition

By David A. Good

© 2014

Public money is one of the primary currencies of influence for politicians and public servants. It affects the standards by which they undertake the nation’s business and impacts the standard of living of the nation’s citizens. David A. Good’s The Politics of Public Money examines the extent to which the Canadian federal budgetary process is shifting from one based on a bilateral relationship between departmental spenders and central guardians to one based on a more complex, multilateral relationship involving a variety of players.

This new edition offers an up-to-date account of the Canadian system, including the creation of the Parliamentary Budget Officer, the government’s response to the global financial crisis, Canada’s Economic Action Plan, strategic and operating reviews, the most recent attempts to reform the Estimates, and much more.

An insightful and incisive study of the changing budgetary process, The Politics of Public Money examines the promises and pitfalls of budgetary reform and sheds new light on the role insiders play in influencing government spending.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 416 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 8.9in
  • Reviews

    “Essential reading for public servants and politicians at all levels who seek to be budget players, and for serious students of Canadian politics.”


    Douglas Brown
    Canadian Public Policy

    “An important addition to our understanding of public finance and to our knowledge of how the federal government operates in practice. [The Politics of Public Money] is a very worthwhile book that should be widely read.”


    Janice MacKinnon
    Canadian Public Administration

    “A surprisingly good read for a book on budget practices ... It offers a fresh perspective on how budgeting actually works.”


    Lewis Hawke
    Australian Journal of Public Administration

    “David A. Good’s lucid study of budgetary politics in Canada provides an analytic framework for examining the ongoing clash between spenders and guardians in all countries.”


    Allen Schick, Distinguished Professor, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland, and Senior Fellow in Governance Studies, The Brookings Institution
  • Author Information

    David A. Good is a professor in the School of Public Administration at the University of Victoria.
  • Table of contents

    Foreword – Patrice Dutil

    Preface

    Introduction

    Part One: The Changing Politics of Public Money

    1. Beyond Spenders and Guardians

    Spenders and Guardians

    From Old Village to New Town

    Beyond Spenders and Guardians

    Priority Setters

    Watchdogs

    Priority Setters and Watchdogs

    New Questions

    Part Two: The Public Money Players

    2. The Guardians of the Changing Role of the Budget Office

    Guardians and Budget Functions

    Guardians and Budget Components

    Guardians and the Budgetary Process

    Different Guardians

    Guardians Diverging: ‘Let the Managers Manage … Come Hell or High Water’

    Guardians and Central Reserves

    Guardians Apart

    3. Why Spenders Keep Spending

    Getting Money

    Keeping Money

    Spending Money

    The Reciprocity of Expenditure Information and Expenditure Increases

    Priorities and Allocations, Not Performance and Allocations

    4. The Priority Setters at the Centre

    The Centre

    The Most Important of all Relationships

    Priorities, Big and Small

    The Prime Minister’s Arms

    Priority Setters and Shift Points

    5. The Watchdogs: Barks that Bite

    Building Credibility on Professionalism and Independence

    The Performance Audit: The Audit for All Reasons

    Mutual Expectations

    Watching Both Spenders and Guardians

    The Financial Watchdog and Internal Department Auditors

    The Watchdogs and Parliamentarians

    Indirect Influence, but Influence

    Part Three: The Public Money Processes

    6. Fiscal Aggregates: Controlling Totals

    Credibility and Uncertainty

    The Prudent Economic and Fiscal Outlook

    The Prudent Fiscal Framework: Achieving Achievable Targets

    Economic Stimulus

    The Elastic Fiscal Dividend

    Prudence and Its Consequences

    Exposing the Fiscal Framework

    Containing Aggregates by Making Allocations

    7. Budget Allocations

    Allocations Types

    The Big Fixes

    The Big-Ticket Items

    The Must Dos

    Small Budget Items

    Tax Expenditures

    Reductions

    Reallocations

    Budget Allocations Are Incremental

    8. Budget Implementation: Financial Management and Efficiency

    On Paper

    Successfully Implementing the Economic Action Plan

    The First Line of Defence

    Victims of Conflicting Norms: The Chief Financial Officer

    The Second Line of Defence

    Victims of the Intractability of Cultural Change: The Comptroller General

    On Becoming Players

    Part Four: New Prospects for Public Money

    9. Parliament and Public Money

    Parliament as Watchdog

    Shaping Government Spending: The Commons Finance Committee

    Approving Government Spending: The Business of Supply

    Holding Government Accountable for Spending: The Public Accounts Committee

    Realism and Reform

    10. Budget Reforms

    Budgets and Reforms

    ‘Rational’ Reform: The Road to Program Budgeting (pre-1962-78)

    The Grand Design: Policy and Expenditure Management System (1979-83)

    Incremental and Continuous Change (1984-93)

    Program Review and Prudent Budgeting (1994-2003)

    ‘A Continuous Culture of Reallocation’ (2004-6)

    Strengthening the Watchdogs: The Federal Accountability Act (2006-8)

    Recalibration: Strategic and Operating Review (2007 and onward)

    Reflections on Reforms

    11. Doing Better with Public Money?

    Theory and Practice

    Reactive, but with Some Resilience

    The Uneasy Balance of Competing Budgetary Objectives

    Establish an Expenditure Review Committee of Cabinet

    Restore a Treasury Board Secretariat Role in Expenditure Review and Allocation

    Link Priorities, Expenditure Programs, and Performance

    Institutionalize the Role of the Parliamentary Budget Officer

    The Politics of Public Money

    Notes

    Index

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