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Public Budgeting: The Compromises Among the Sound Budgeting Principles in Contingency Funding


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The purpose of this thesis is to observe the budgeting practices of the government in funding contingency operations to determine to what extent a policy-makers actions result in compromises among the sound public budgeting principles. To accomplish the objective, this thesis evaluates the evolution of budgeting practices used in funding overseas contingency operations from 2001 to 2016 and determines the level of application of the sound budgeting principles to the budgeting practices. To illustrate the application of use, this thesis first defines the principles of sound public budgeting and maps the differing budgeting practices to the characteristics along a relative spectrum of high, medium, and low to determine if there are discernible patterns. A framework does not exist for Congress to fund for contingencies; policy-makers must therefore use budgeting practices that are less than ideal. Since the attacks of 9/11, the United States has funded contingency operations through processes different from normal budgeting. Over the last 15 years, those budgeting practices have evolved in a manner that questions to what extent funding for contingency operations is consistent with the principles of sound public budgeting. An analysis shows that compromises are made among the principles to adequately fund for contingency operations.



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