Good Budget Change Proposals (BCPs)
Departments have often asked for training in developing good BCPs. Sometimes Department of Finance budget analysts and principals have provided training to their counterparts in departments. In the mid-1980s, Finance developed "How To Write An Effective Budget Change Proposal (BCP)". The document has been updated periodically and provided to departments in the annual Technical Budget Letter since the early 1990s.
In a survey, several departments requested that examples of some good BCPs be made available to them. Finance staff were asked during the development of the 1998-99 Governors Budget to identify some good BCPs. Six BCPs were identified and are linked below (in department/organization number order) as Word documents:
- Commission on Improving Life Through Service
- Parlin Fork Conservation Camp, Improve Utilities
- Administration Support For Healthy Families Program
- Statewide Child Welfare Services Monitoring Unit
- California School for the Deaf, Fremont - Social Worker
- California School for the Blind - Teacher Assistants
Two of the six BCPs addressed point-by-point most of the questions and concerns in the document. The other four addressed many of the points, even though they did not specifically address the precise questions and concerns in the outline. Some of the points in the document are not pertinent to every BCP.
Regardless of how well a BCP is written, there are a number of factors which affect whether a BCP will be included in the Governors Budget or the Budget that is enacted by the Legislature. Some of these factors are outside of a departments sphere of influence.
Generally, the Governors Budget includes BCPs that:
- Document and address a compelling public need
- Agree/coincide with the Administrations goals and policies
- Rank as a high priority for the Administration/Agency/department
- Justify the needs based on benefits, costs and/or workload
- Convey planning and coordination
- Realistically address alternatives
- Spend only funds that are available
- Comply with the Deparatment of Finance BCP timelines and instructions