The Budgeting Dilemma


Complete the Unit 2 Assignment: The Budgeting Dilemma

Watch the Jacksonville Police Department Scenario.

As the Chief of Police you may be asked to make budget cuts in the department in response to state or national policy changes. This week you will analyze two budgeting approaches to determine which is most appropriate for the Jacksonville Police Department.

Prepare a 700–1,050 word essay justifying the implementation of a budgeting approach for the Jacksonville Police Department.

Include the following in your essay:

Describe the advantages and disadvantages of the two following budgeting approaches:

Zero-Based Budgeting (ZBB)

Planning-Programming Budgeting (PPB)

Choose one or more of the following police programs from the scenario:


Eagle Academy

Explorer Program

Drug Rehabilitation Program

Then, address the following:Explain how Zero-Based Budgeting could be implemented to the program(s) you chose.

Explain how Planning-Programming Budgeting could be implemented to the program(s) you chose.

Determine which budgeting approach is best for the Jacksonville Police Department. Justify your reasoning.


The Budgeting Dilemma

Due to the current recession in the economy, there have been challenges in meeting the services demand because of reduction in tax revenues. With no additional federal funding, the police agencies have no other alternative but to cut back on services they provide. As such, there is need to implement either zero-based budgeting or planning programming budgeting for Jacksonville police department. Zero-based budgeting is also known as priority-based is a system that calls for all activities to all activities to be prioritized and justified before making decisions , which are made depending on the resources available(Drury, 2007).

The zero-based budgeting, managers are supposed to have zero expenditure baselines. Its advantages are that it has alternative analysis hence they have ways of performing each activity .the people in charge of budgeting are able to tie expenditures to activities hence efficient allocation of funds and reduces budget inflation (Drury, 2007). The budgetary discussions and allotment are significant and purposeful. They require constant review in order to ensure that all aspects of the police agency are in line with expectations at all times. It increases staff motivation by providing initiative and an opportunity to take part in decision-making. It assists in to identify areas of wasteful expenditure and providing alternative courses of action.

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It increases staff motivation by providing initiative and an opportunity to take part in decision-making. It assists in to identify areas of wasteful expenditure and providing alternative courses of action (Rasmussen, 2003). By implementing zero-based budgeting employees, forms and practices that are not effective are eliminated.

The major demerit of zero-based budget is that it requires a lot of effort to investigate and document the activities of the department. It takes a lot of time to prepare and increases the expenses of the budget. It tends to be too drastic hence difficult to obtain a consensus. Justifying every expense may not be practical and departments such as research and development may find themselves in a critical situation. The managers and staff need to be trained and educated on the concepts of applying for the zero-based budgeting.

Planning-programming and budgeting method is used by organizations to help them make better decisions concerning resources allocation. It is different from the other methods in that it is prepared basing on programs (Lal, 2002). Planning-programming budgeting acts as a suitable approach that provides a basis for better decision-making and implementation. It entails a program structure, decision-making process that ascertains the rules, functions and schedules required, standard program document that entails needs, resource inputs and outputs and analysis for evaluating effectiveness and weighing alternatives.

Planning-programming budgeting is useful for planning the delivery of services and determines if allocation reflects priorities. It helps in monitoring the use of resources as well as to identify programs that need more funds (Drury, 2007). One of the major shortfalls of planning-programming budgeting is that it was developed without putting into consideration the resources available. As such, it may take many years before one can find suitable ways to fund the program sufficiently. There is overlapping of services, which can result in double spending. It is also difficult to evaluate performance of services that have several levels of administration. The actual revenues and expenditure is known to a few people or only in retrospect at the end of the fiscal year.

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Zero-based budgeting can be implemented in a drug rehabilitation program by first organizing budget proposals prioritizing the important ones. Secondly, conducting a feasibility study and implementing a cost benefit analysis can also help implement zero-based budgeting in a drug rehabilitation program. Following the identification of key activities, a strategic plan and vision is laid out on how to achieve the objectives. The staff to perform the various activities are also identified and the fraction of their time on each activity.

The second step is to identify the resources that are needed by analyzing all non-salary costs to carry out all the activities within the program. Such costs can include travel and supplies expenses. The costs have to be justified by explaining how the agency will get from those expenditures. A program summary is given by outlining a brief account on the key activities of the program. Finally, the goals and performance of the program are identified and measured and the success of each activity evaluated.

Planning-program budgeting can be implemented in a drug rehabilitation program by fist assessing the needs. A brief description of the project and ways to conduct it is given according to the requirements of the law and regulation. A budget is made. It should entail an estimate of the costs and income of the project. A description of the standards and qualifications is given. The objectives of the project should be measurable, specific and realistic.

Zero-based budgeting is the most appropriate for Jacksonville police department. It is obtained from planning-programming budgeting, but it is more elaborate. It requires managers to give good reason for all their budgeted expenditures as opposed to justifying for increments to the budget or the actual results of the previous year. It emphasizes on detailed planning, identifying objectives, creating and evaluating strategies for accomplishing the objectives, assessing alternative funding levels depending on how they meet the goals of the agency and setting priorities.



Drury, C. (2007). Management and cost accounting. London: Thomson Learning.

Lal, J. (2002). Cost accounting. New Delhi: Tata McGraw-Hill Pub.

Rasmussen, N. (2003). Process improvement for effective budgeting and financial reporting.        Hoboken, N.J: Wiley.

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