The United States government is divided into various levels including the state, federal and local government. The government expenditure is facilitated and monitored from these levels of government. Before any spending of public funds takes place, a budget has to be drawn.
Under Article 1, section 9, clause 7 of the United States constitution states that
No money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time . Therefore strict procedures are followed before public funds are allocated or spent.
First the president will have to come up with a proposal which he will present to congress regarding how the public funds for the coming financial year should be spent. The congress is responsible for passing the fiscal budget and forwarding it to the president to be signed into law. During the budget process, the president may decide to send back the budget for further review if he I not in agreement with the entire document. There are a number of rules and regulations that govern the US budget process. The president is expected by law to present to congress his budget request on the first Monday of February.
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- There are also government agencies that have the sole mandate of analysing the fiscal budget to ensure that there is proper division and accountability.
- Government accountability office (GAO)
- Congressional budget office (CBO)
- Office of management and budget (OMB)
US treasury department
These offices are also required to come up with budget data. Every January, the CBO publishes The Budget and Economic Outlook and every month. The Monthly Budget Review. GOA issues the financial statements of the US government in December while working in conjunction with the US treasury. The OMB works on the presidents budget usually presented on budget day. The treasury is also responsible for coming up with the outlays, balances and combined statements of receipts of the coming financial year.
All this information is made available to the public so that they can be able to keep tabs on how the government is spending their money. This ensures that high levels of accountability are observed. Apart from the official monitory bodies, the media also plays a major role in as far as ensuring that the public funds are allocated and spent well.
A lot of work goes into choosing priority areas where funds need to be directed to. When the proposed budget for the preceding fiscal year is being analysed, the expenditure for the last year is analysed to find out how the money can be spent better.
In the budgeting and funds allocation process authorization is given by congress for funds to be received by a certain account. However, the account remains empty until appropriation is done and the treasure requested to deliver the funds. The monies directed are only those authorised by congress nothing more, nothing less.
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