County governments ensure that the work of public administrators in a state is effective. The governments have the mandate to perform various duties such as levying taxes, construction and maintenance of bridges and roads and distribution of water. County governments also fulfil other essential services such as policing and firefighting (Fleischmann & Pierannunzi, 2010). Although the services are essential, it is impossible to fulfil them without the necessary funds (Lang, Blakely & Gough, 2005). It is thus important for the County managers to be able to formulate a budget and implement it (Page, 2005). The process of budget formulation entails statement of the activities that the government intends to carry out and the number of funds to be allocated for every activity (Burning & Gillespie, 2004). One of the aspects that determine the effectiveness of the County governor in enhancing the use of public finance is the structure of the government. Based on the County government of Gwinnett County, Georgia, this paper argues that the structure of county government and the nature of budget determines whether the County managers are involved in financial matters of the County.
The County manager has great influence on the decisions concerning public finance, as they are involved in every stage of decision-making. The County is comprised of five commissioners who oversee the activities of the county. There are 12 executive departments in the County are headed by an administrator (Aka, 2012). The County manager is the full-time chairperson who ensures that the executive commissioners act according to the required law. The structure of County government makes the executive member, the chairperson able to play important roles in formulation of the budget (Zhao, 2005). The job description of the County chairperson enables them to contribute to the budgeting of the counties, as they understand every sector of government. The County uses an annual budget that is comprised of financial plans for the next 12 months.
The nature of budget in Gwinnett County makes it easy for the county managers to play part in budget formulation process. The twelve months period that the budget takes allows the personnel to be well prepared by compiling data from all the sectors of administration (Maynard, Powell & Kittredge, 2005). Due to the involvement of the County manager in the budget formulation process, Gwinnett is regarded as one of the most efficient counties in provision of goods and services (Zhao & Hou, 2008). Among the programs provided by the county government include business services that enhance development in the county (Griffith, 2000). Individuals who wish to provide services to the government or the public are granted a chance to bid for tenders which are awarded fairly (Sanders & Lee, 2009). The County also has consumer protection agency to ensure that producers and business persons do not exploit the citizens. Based on the nature of their jobs, the most influential people in the county government are the chairman. The individual supervises the work performed by other senior officials such as department heads.
In conclusion, the ability of the county manager to be involved in budget formulation process influences the management of public finance. The revenue and expenditure of Gwinnett County government is efficient as indicated by the quality of service programs in the region such as business services. The success of the County with regard to public finance is mostly as a result of the hierarchical structure of the government that allows the leaders to participate in the budget formulation process as well as the nature of budget.
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