Outcome-Based Program Area Budgeting

Victoria Reinhardt, Ramsey County Board of Commissioners
Hope Melton, Ramsey Co. All Children Excel (ACE) Prg.

When addressing juvenile crime, policy makers have placed a tremendous amount of resources into punishment. One of the reasons is that crime and punishment are highly visible and easy to measure. It is much more difficult to convince a taxpayer that spending money on prevention is important. Recent research on the cost effectiveness of early intervention programs is an important step. It will be equally important to demonstrate that local government is spending tax dollars efficiently. In combination with accountability for results, programmatic area budgeting can accomplish the goal of cost-effective delivery of high quality services. Outcome-based program area budgeting combines resources from different departments into a single budget based on a common program emphasis, such as keeping kids out of trouble. It is a substantial departure from 'business as usual'. It holds the promise of reducing duplication of services, and enhancing effectiveness through mutual cooperation towards common goals. In contrast to fragmented budgets, which support fragmented programs, the integrated budget approach is designed to support service integration across jurisdictions. This presentation will review how the principles of outcome-based program area budgeting are being applied in the pilot program for child delinquents called Ramsey County ACE.

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Updated 05/20/2006