What is Priority Based Budgeting?

Priority Based BudgetingThe City remains committed to a process that communicates the budget in a way that doesn’t just focus on the line items that a budget contains but rather the programs that it provides. For more than a decade the City has delivered budgets in this fashion, however, you will notice in the pages that follow, the document looks very different from other years. Departments were tasked this year with reevaluating their “inventory” of program they provide and reallocating costs to those programs. This is intentional and is a precursor of more to come with a returned focus on Department Mission Statements, Goals, Objectives, and Performance Measures.

Between FY 2011 through FY 2023 the City utilized a budgeting approach known as Budgeting For Outcomes (BFO). This model operates with funding allocations based on Priorities as focus areas as set by City Council. These focus areas, or Priorities, have been consistently reaffirmed by City Council each year. They are Community Safety, Economy, Education, Good Government, Human Services, Infrastructure, and Livability. The new PBB model still focuses on these areas and it takes it a step further by including a comprehensive peer reviewed scoring rubric. This process allows programs to be scored on all Priorities rather than just one, although we do continue to try show the budget overall with the Priority Totals.

During the budget development process, each Director was initially asked to ensure that each unit’s controllable expenses were less than or equal to their FY 2023 adopted budget levels.  They were further instructed to submit any incremental increases as supplemental budget requests.  Additionally, each Director was asked to rank the supplemental requests for their entire Directorate in order of importance from the highest priority to the lowest priority, including any one-time requests. That listing was then reviewed with the appropriate Deputy or Assistant City Manager and the Management and Budget Division.  The Budget Committee then began its initial review with an emphasis on building upon the base budget requests and, pending the projected revenue, incorporating the highest priority supplemental requests.  One-time budget requests were also considered separately.

Outside agency offers are ranked and funding recommendations made by the Human Services Committee, the Roanoke Arts Commission, or the Budget Committee depending on the nature of the application.

Budget Committee

The Budget Committee consists of the City Manager, Assistant City Managers, Director of Finance, Deputy Director of Finance and Budget Manager

Recommendations to an Adopted Budget

The City Manager's recommendations of programs and services are provided to City Council in the form of a Recommended Budget in April followed by a public hearing, budget study and ultimately an Adopted Budget in May.