The Government Publishing Office (GPO) budget is usually comprehensive as it is committed to printing most of the country’s documents like Passport among others. The agency operated with a $126 million budget in 2012. The agency’s budget is an executive department as most of the work is to discuss the budget as provided by the Federal government and not to raise (Act, 2015). The spending of the government agency is usually under the appropriations committee; both the Senate and the House of Representatives are concerned with this matter. The spending is discretionary with the budget allocations made on appropriations (West et al., 2016). The budget is entire to be used on activities as stated in the budgetary documents and therefore actual outlays have to be determined from the word go. Both houses and appropriations committees have influence and authority on how the Government Publishing Office spends the resources allocated to them (Act, 2015).
During the 2012 budgetary allocations, two accountability areas became a public concern. For mandatory budgets, it was prudent to ensure that all money is used for the intended purposes while for the discretionary budget, enough allocations had to be made. Political factors that influenced the budgets( both mandatory and discretionary) included the recently concluded presidential election and the unstableness of the economy at such a time(Act, 2015). Second, the desire of the president to stimulate the economy was also a great contributing factor as this meant that a huge chunk of the resources could only be put into mandatory budget thus denying the Government Publishing Office enough resources. Compared to FY2012, the agency had a slightly less budget in 2013. The passing of the Budget Control Act in 2011 helped resolve the United States debt ceiling crisis and this prompted the Federal government to have significant budget cuts for the next ten years up to 2021, this to a large extent affects how much the publishing agency continues to get over the years.
Analysis of Budgeting Plans and Actual Expenditures.
The Senate of the United States represents a governmental body that plays an important role in the budgetary decisions of the Government Publishing Office. The Senate and its subcommittees are responsible for the legislature as well as for final decisions regarding money allocations, entitlements, and various budget totals. Apart from approving or not a budget request from the President, the Senate might as well itself propose a budget independently of the President´s budget(Act, 2015). The budget resolutions passed by the Senate, possibly come with amendments. There is no obligation for passing a budget resolution. In the case for one year there may be no resolutions, the previous year´s resolution will be the one remaining in force.
The Office of Management of Budget (OMB) represents the largest office within the Executive Office of the President. This agency influences the budget for the Government Publishing Office since its main function is to produce the President´s budget (Digital Content Solutions. ,n.d.). The OMB works very closely with executive agencies, discussing issues for the upcoming budget, analyzing the quality of agency programs, policies and procedures and confirming that those are in line with the president´s policies. This ensures a smooth process in proposals and budget process (West et al., 2016). The President´s budget is formulated within four months and includes requests for all federal executive departments and independent agencies (Act, 2015). The request should have an extensive proposal of the administration´s revenue and spending plans for the following fiscal year. Moreover, each department and agency shall provide further supporting documentation and detailed information regarding its funding request.
The fiscal year starts October 1st when the OMB staff meets with senior agency representatives to discuss their proposals. The agencies will then be notified about decisions regarding their budget request. If not satisfied with the decision, the agencies can appeal to the President and OMB in December. These will then work together to resolve the issues, preparing a budget justification document. Finally, by February the president will review and submit the final budget to Congress to approve (Act, 2015).
Implications of Foreign Policy
International policies have a significant role to play in the budgeting process in most aspects. To begin with, policies determine how much money and resources are spent on a particular issue or project. How many resources are raised is also dependent on the policy itself (Digital Content Solutions. ,n.d.). Canvassing for support from all other agencies that are directly or indirectly involved in the budget process can also be attributed to international policy in a way. When the money or allocations are made available is also hugely to be put on international policy. In most scenarios, international policies are the reasons resources are given within no delay while in some other instances international policy contributes to delays (Act, 2015). Depending on the nature of the activity by which budgeting is done, the international policy could also play a vital role. How the allocations are used and the support that comes with such a budget is a factor that has been long associated with international policy (Bowen et al., 2014) In the future a budget could become more expansive if the international community and the policies therein are favoring the budgeting process(West et al., 2016). Government agencies that are involved in activities that influence or touch the general public in a great way are believed to have better budgets as compared to those that do not impact the masses in a significant way. Foreign policy can be attributed to many things, but the results of public policy are usually seen after a long period.
Budget Request and Recommendations
Improving the budget for the next fiscal year will require several approaches by the agency. To achieve this within the set time limits, the agency will be required to create a rapport with the stakeholders and individuals involved in the budget-making process. The first important aspect will be in ensuring that all loopholes for wasteful spending have been sealed (West et al., 2016). The second approach is to create an oversight authority that is able to oversee the whole budgetary process. In any agency and organisation, it is always prudent to create a process by which financial reporting can be done according to the accepted principles and standards. The agency can work in this way lobby from other parties and government agencies on how this can be done (West et al., 2016). Building a solid relationship between how money is raised and how it is used is a vital activity that cannot be left to the organization alone. Working with related agencies in a cost-sharing approach that can in a significant way reduce wasteful spending and encourage more stakeholders to give their resources towards the main budget. During any year especially after the budgeting has been done it is always right to consider what was not used in the previous period and can be used in the current year (West et al., 2016). The Office of Management of Budget through its mandate can reduce or increase the amount of allocations on any agency, and it’s therefore important to ensure that this happens in the right way and approach. Creating a reliable checking system that cannot be compromised in any situation is a great gain for the entire agency (Digital Content Solutions. ,n.d.).
Interview with a GPO Budget Representative
What is the role of GPO?
Generally, the primary role of GPO is to gather, catalog, produce, provide, authenticate, and preserving information in all its forms.
Do you have a functional and effective budgeting department?
Yes, there is an established budgeting and welfare department that is committed to ensuring that the agency has all financial resources that it requires.
Are there things in the Budgeting Department that you would want to see them changed? Why?
I believe it’s high time we worked prudently with the resources the public entrusted us with. A lot of money goes into waste, and this is not good for our overall image. I would want us to work with a strict budgetary allocation that cannot accommodate wastages.
Are there any challenges in the budgeting process?
Yes, in some instances we have delays in receiving the allocations and in some cases we have other agencies questioning why we get so much. However, it’s challenging that can be dealt with for once and for all.
What is the way forward for the Government Publishing Office? How does the future look like?
Our number one agenda is to provide quality services to the public as this is our mandate and calling. In the future, we envision to be an agency that is not only dependable but also working to serve the interests of Americans.
Act, E. S. S. (2015). US Government Publishing Office: Washington. DC, USA.
West, L. A., Cole, S., Goodkind, D., & He, W. (2016). 65+ in the United States: 2010. US Census Bureau. US Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 2014: 23-212.
Digital Content Solutions. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.gpo.gov/
Bowen, T. R., Chen, Y., & Eraslan, H. (2014). Mandatory versus discretionary spending: The status quo effect. American Economic Review, 104(10), 2941-74.
Government Publishing Outline