What is Budgeting For Outcomes?

Budgeting For Outcomes, or BFO, was implemented by the City of Roanoke beginning in FY 2012. It involves City Council establishing its priorities for the City. Interdepartmental teams (known as Priority Teams) initially developed "requests for results" (RFRs) documents around each of the priorities. Departments then submit a budget request focused around those priorities and RFRs. The offers address the specific outcomes that may be obtained at the level of funds being requested.  Priority Teams or Peer Review Teams then review the offers and make recommendations to the Budget Committee. The Budget Committee will make adjustments as determined necessary to finalize the recommendations presented by the City Manager.

Priority Teams

Priority Teams can be interdepartmental teams utilizing City staff with a variety of expertise, or they may be comprised of he City's Department Directors.

In the early years of the BFO process, the Priority Teams convene to familiarize themselves with the Strategy Maps and Requests for Results (RFR) which define the parameters of each Priority and describe what programs and services are needed to address the priority as well as the expected outcome. These RFR documents request that departments offer a program or service, while promising a certain level of performance at a specific price to be purchased. With the RFRs not having changed significantly in recent years, this review step by the Priority Teams has not been as necessary.

Priority Teams then review, evaluate, and rank all offers submitted in order of importance using a Lean process improvement tool called the nominal group technique. Aside from ranking, great emphasis is also placed on asking the Priority Teams to thoroughly review funding levels of each offer.  In at least one year, this funding review task has been taken on by Peer Review Teams consisting of the Department Directors rather than the Priority Teams.  In either case, funding recommendations are then made by these teams to the Budget Committee to establish a balanced budget based on revenue projections developed independently by the Department of Finance.

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, Budget Manager, and Accounting Supervisor.

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.