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Budgeting Process in the Public Sector

Nevertheless, acceptance of this rational approach was slow and not immediate. In 1949 and 1955, the Hoover Commissions were still recommending the "performance budget" (Wildavsky, 1988).

The time for serious rational budgeting in government arrived after the 1950s. President Johnson pressed for the Planning, Programming, Budgeting System (PPBS) for the entire federal government in the 1960s, and President Carter adopted the zerobase approach in the late 1970s. Conceptually, PPBS was exciting, but few government officials had a clear understanding of how to approach such comprehensive rational budgeting. It was Secretary Robert McNamara who was the first to implement PPBS for the Department of Defense in 1961. Although few studies were conducted to measure the effectiveness of PPBS in the Department of Defense, rational budgeting remained the dominant approach well into the 1990s (Axelrod, 1995, pp. 292-294).

Planning, Programming, Budgeting System reflected the very model of rational budgeting. All of the key concepts of rational budgeting were including in the overall model: resources were allocated based on programmatic analysis; objectives of government programs were identified for the medium-term and long-term; costs of alternative programs were compared; performance indicators were developed; results were emphasized; and choices by decisionmakers were expanded. Th


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