Background information about the agency, mission, goals, objectives, departments and strategic plan
Oklahoma City originated from a Land Run that occurred in 1889. It is the largest city in the state of Oklahoma. As of 2010 census, it had a huge population amounting to approximately 580,000. It has one of the largest livestock, oil, and gas markets in the world. The main aims of addressing budgetary needs are to improve the quality of the educational institutions and to build a better and highly skilled workforce. Such moves are essential in ensuring that the city maintains impressive growth in the future.
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The city has various agencies which have diversified missions. For example, the Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission (ABLE) has the responsibility to safeguard the public’s well being and awareness by implementing rules and regulations relating to alcoholic drinks and other harmful drugs. The mission of the Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry (ODAFF) is to increase the agricultural products’ value and to improve the city residents’ value. Last but not least, the mission of the Arts Council department is to lead, create, and support a prosperous arts environment that offers quality life and economic growth (History of Oklahoma City, 2013).
The goals and objectives of Oklahoma City are also determined by the goals of the various agencies that form part of the city’s budget. For example, ABLE’s goals are to control and implement Oklahoma’s laws relating to liquor. This is done to observe and enhance public safety. It also enforces tobacco compliance rules. ODAFF’s goals and objectives are to ensure consumers have access to safe and quality agricultural products. The agency also aims at protecting and conserving the city’s agricultural and natural resources. It also ensures the efficient and effective delivery of agricultural services by employing well knowledgeable employees. The goals and objectives of the Arts Council Agency are to provide public policy development and to retain the city’s creative workforce. By so doing, the agency creates self-employment and self proprietorship businesses, which become future revenue sources (Fallin, 2013).
There are various departments within Oklahoma City’s budget. They include:
- Oklahoma Department of Education Cabinet
- Department of Agriculture Cabinet
- Banking Department
- Oklahoma Department of Commerce and Tourism Cabinet
- Department of Central Services
- Consumer Credit Department
The budget of the agency has addressed the following items (Oklahoma’s Own, 2013):
Financial Summary, including revenue and expenditures
Oklahoma City has apportioned $6,717,773,223 to its total revenue for the next financial year, 2013. It has also apportioned $6,717,766.766 to its total expenditures for the next financial year, which leaves behind a balance of $6,462. Part of the net budgetary balance is carried over to the following financial year. However, if the actual expenditures would exceed the actual revenues, then the city would be forced to seek alternative funding and sources of revenue.
Every department has been apportioned a given amount of funds. For example, the energy, environmental quality, and water resources departments were apportioned $13,057,644, the department of environmental quality and water resources was apportioned $13,057,644, and the department of health care, mental health, and substance abuse was apportioned $1,230,320,762. The human resource department was apportioned $712,576,165 while the military department was apportioned $10,247,996. The budget allocations are quite high, which reduces the level of budget reserves.
Some of the city’s funding comes from refunds. For example, the city has outstanding bond obligations, which get refunded by the debtors. This helps it to raise some finances used in budgetary allocations. Also, the city expects to market some of its securities at favorable interest rates to raise more money. It has also reduced its expenses on employee salaries, benefits, and travel expenses to raise more cash for its budget. Lastly, the agencies receive funding from the state of Oklahoma to cater for public services such as security, defense, water, and sanitation. The General Revenue Fund is the main source of the city’s operations. The fund receives its monies from taxes, fees, and benefits from investments. Therefore, the city needs to keep on increasing its investments to raise more revenue.
Capital projects are projects that cost a minimum of $25,000 with a lifespan of five years. Some of the approved capital projects in Oklahoma City’s budget are therapy and physical labs, Clinton’s Food Service area, and renovation of Geothermal and system at Lawton and Norman centers. These projects offer services at subsidized costs, and they also act as the city’s sources of revenue. Such projects are allocated huge amounts of the budget’s funds because they are expected to reap huge benefits in the future.
Oklahoma City governor, Fallin, has allocated $5 million to clear off the debt incurred from a bond issue of $50 million. This will help improve the level of funds allocated to mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems in the major buildings. The city’s administration also controls debts by reducing expenses such as travel and staff salaries.
Some of the costs covered under this section are:
These are costs that do not change with change in the level of goods and services produced. Some of the fixed costs incurred by Oklahoma City are building costs, laboratory equipment costs, military equipment costs, and costs associated with solar panels and motor vehicles (Your City Budget 2013).
Step-fixed costs are expenses or costs that remain fixed but which change when certain conditions change. For example, Oklahoma City’s costs of disaster recovery rise when there are calamities such as storms or floods. The same costs remain fixed when normal weather conditions resume (Your City Budget, 2013). Although such costs are usually budgeted for, they can consume more funds. Disasters such as storms may cause displacement of city residents, health risks, and destruction to property. Disaster recovery becomes very expensive in such instances and can drain the only available funds.
Variable costs change with an increase and decrease in business operations. Some of the variable costs that face Oklahoma City are fuel costs, costs related to paper storage and printing, costs associated with professional consulting and counsel, labor, material, and travel costs (Your City Budget 2013).
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One of the major budget challenges that face Oklahoma City is funding. For example, the city’s rehabilitation services department lacks sufficient funding. This results in reduced service levels, which has affected the quality of services in hospitals and in times of natural calamities. Additionally, the department of career and technology has been experiencing funding deductions, which has seen 31 employees getting laid off.
The other challenge is debt management. For example, there are various debts owed to municipal councils, state agencies, and higher education institutions. Tax evasion by businesses and few self-employed persons is also a major challenge for the city’s administration (Proposed Budget Focused on Priorities, 2013).
This section recommends methods that the agency should analyze in regards to new initiatives and budget cuts over the next three years
Oklahoma City ought to establish more effective means of tax and debt collection to lessen the level of debts owed to it. This can be done by conducting more audits on tax returns. The city’s officials can also list the tax evaders on reference bureaus to curb the crime.
The city should also introduce more sources of income to increase sources of revenue and funding. For example, the city can conduct more audits on the newly established businesses to ensure that they pay their bills and city council rates. By creating youth funds, the city can encourage innovation among the youth, which can help them to establish businesses. As a result, this can create more dispensable income and reduced borrowing.
Lastly, it is recommended that the city should regularize the level of capital expenditure to be able to cater to the basic needs of its residents. For example, water and sanitation are very basic, yet the departments that cater to such needs receive reduced funding. The two commodities are very basic, yet they receive less funding than other departments such as technology and arts. Therefore, funders promote creativity and development but fail to recognize the most fundamental needs.
Fallin, M. (2013). State of Oklahoma: Executive Budget for Fiscal Year Ending 2013. Web.
History of Oklahoma City. (2013). Web.
Proposed Budget Focused on Priorities: The City of Oklahoma City. (2013). Web.
Your City Budget: FY 2012- 2013 Annual Report. (2013). Web.