How Departments Prepare the Budget
Each year, the Office of Management and Budget conducts an annual budget kick-off meeting. In January, representatives from each department gather to receive guidance and information for preparing the next fiscal year’s budget.
The Office of Management and Budget distributes general instructions for preparing the budget, schedules budget hearings and provides specific line item instructions for certain budget items. This information aids departments in preparing their individual budget requests.
The Director of Finance delivers the annual Budget Message that sets forth the vision for the budget process. Departments are urged to remain focused on the goals and priorities that set the course for the Mayor’s budget plan. The goals are to produce a budget that is balanced using conservative assumptions, maintains low property taxes, and focuses on Nashville’s future.
Streamlining the Process with Technology
The Office of Management and Budget uses an innovative tool to streamline the budget preparation process. WEBudget is a web-based tool that allows individual departments to submit budget requests. The tool also provides the Office of Management and Budget the ability to review and consolidate budget information into a single budget format.
Reviewing the Mission and Goals
Departments start the budget process by reviewing their mission and goals. Each department’s mission and goals drive the programs and services offered to the public. By focusing on a clearly defined mission and measurable, concrete goals, departments can ensure that their budget requests match the needs of the citizens served.
Based on the review of their mission and goals, each department sets its priorities for the coming budget year. These priorities may be new programs or services, or new targets for existing programs and services. Each priority must be measurable – that is, the results of the investment of dollars must be clear -- and each department is accountable for reaching their stated results.
Identifying Needed Resources
Once a department sets their priorities for the budget year, they identify the corresponding resource requirements for the coming year.
OMB reviews each department’s accomplishments from the previous year, ensuring accountability to the prior year’s budget goals and priorities.
Citizen Impact Review
As new budget requests are received, OMB reviews all potential impacts on services provided to the citizens of Metro.
Review Departmental Priorities
After departments have submitted their budget priorities, the Office of Management and Budget reviews the requests to ensure consistency with Metro’s goals and priorities. The OMB then presents departmental funding requests along with supporting priority alignment information to the Mayor for consideration in the Recommended Operating Budget.