Wednesday, October 5, 2011

City Controller Greuel Issues Report on Performance-Based Budgeting Reforms


For Immediate Release:
October 5, 2011

City Controller Greuel Issues Report on Performance-Based Budgeting Reforms

LOS ANGELES –  City Controller Wendy Greuel today issued a 65-page report to the Mayor and City Council recommending a shift in the way the City approaches its budgeting process.  Greuel’s report on performance-based budgeting provides a blueprint for Los Angeles to develop its annual budget based on performance outcomes and prudent fiscal constraints.

“The money that is budgeted to support city services belongs to taxpayers and must be spent responsibly,” said Greuel. “For the sake of all Angelenos, we must insist on achieving the greatest value for every tax dollar. And we need to have a transparent, accountable budgeting process that effectively allocates the City’s scarce resources; allows taxpayers to see how their dollars are spent; and evaluates how departments actually perform.”

Greuel announced the release of her report at City Hall during an address to the LA Area Chamber of Commerce.  The report recommends that City leaders develop strategic priorities and build the budget around shared outcomes, rather than the line-item approach the City currently employs.  Greuel recommends a phased implementation approach, starting with a pilot program of select departments in 2012.

This change will require City leadership and departments to take a closer look at the way that the City does business. This blueprint has City departments start at their budget bases – every City service will need to be evaluated and compared to other services. Additionally, with the implementation of the new Financial Management System, the City now has the foundation necessary to provide City management with the necessary tools to better evaluate the City’s budget going forward.


"Taxpayers in the City of Los Angeles deserve better than our current budgeting system," said Los Angeles City Councilmember José Huizar, who has been a strong advocate of performance-based budgeting.  “I applaud the Controller for issuing this report, which provides a road map for departments to define their goals and measure results so that better and more informed decisions can be made about how the City funds its core services and programs.” 

“A transition to performance-based budgeting will take the cooperation of our City leadership and departments to effectively reform the City’s budget process,” said Greuel.  “I look forward to working together to bring the City’s budgeting system into the 21st century to make the most of our scarce resources.”

Controller Greuel has long advocated for a more strategic City budgeting process. During her tenure as City Controller, Greuel has conducted nearly 40 audits and uncovered nearly than $100 million that the City has lost to waste, fraud, and abuse over the last two years.

A copy of the report can be found here.

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