Case Analysis Budget Project—PA 6650


Updated January 31, 2020


As a class, we will use the most recent Norfolk, Viginia budget, which is a very useful one to demonstrate all of the points I want you to take from the course, and lets you work with a complex but easy to navigate local government budget. You will need to access the correct budget via the links I will provide in Course Documents and/or the Course & Web Links area of Blackboard. More specific instruction will be provided in class or online at the appropriate time. PAGE NUMBER WHERE YOU FOUND THE INFORMATION MUST BE CITED. This is an individual project, you are to work on your own.

.   Part I

A.   Write a narrative analysis of the entire budget which answers the following questions (refer to budget page numbers in your answer so I may verify the information).



1.   Identify and explain the budget format and approach being used and assess how this budget fits the general concepts of public budgeting.


2.   Analyze and evaluate the quality of the budget presentation and discuss the policy implications of the budget.


3.   Identify key executive proposals and goals and identify the social, political economic, ethical and cultural factors involved in those goals.


4.   Identify the total revenue and expenditure amounts for the budget year (BY).


5.   Identify the three largest programatic revenue and expenditure categories and amounts and discuss the policy implications.


6.   Identify the percentage & amount of intergovernmental transfer payments.


7.   Identify the amount and category of the costliest service provided and discuss the policy implications.


8.   Identify the costliest line item for each department.


9.   Identify the dollar and percentage cost of full-time equivalent (FTE) employment.


10.  Compare public safety (police, fire, 911) and public assistance costs.


                                                                        Part II

This is a case analysis exercise where you are provided limited information and are building your own case for analysis. The case analysis process is outlined at this link: Case analysis worksheet


SITUATION: You are the director the department which I have assigned to you (each student is to select a different department) and I will be the city manager for the exercise.   I have notified you that because reduced tax revenue expectations, federal funding cuts, and pressures to reduce taxes (all current issues), our community will have large revenue shortfalls.   As a result, I am directing all departments to submit a revised budget request for your department cutting 20%, which can be presented to the city/county legislature (council/commission).   Your task is to prepare a case analysis following the format in the case analysis worksheet that addresses all of the following points for your department:



1.  Identify available alternatives that will achieve the proposed reduction in your department, and select the preferred alternative based on your assessment criteria.


2.  Identify potential obstacles to your proposed alternative, and provide cogent arguments why your particular department cannot absorb its full share of the proposed cuts.


3. In discussing how to overcome your identified obstacles, consider and include discussion of specific recommendations as to which other departments should absorb the portion of the

cuts your department cannot, and/or your specific recommendations for sufficient revenue enhancements to make the cuts to your department unnecessary.  


BE SPECIFIC IN YOUR CUTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS:  Remember, detail is the key to success.