What is Budgeting For Outcomes?

Budgeting For Outcomes, or BFO, was implemented by the City of Roanoke beginning in FY 2012. It involves City Council establishing it's priorities for the City. Interdepartmental teams (known as Priority Teams) develop "requests for results" (RFRs) around each of the priorities. Departments will then submit a budget request focused around those priorities and RFRs. The offers will address the specific outcomes that may be obtained at the level of funds being requested. The price of government is established and funds are allocated to each of the priorities chosen. Priority Teams will then review the offers and make recommendations to the Budget Committee. The Budget Committee will make adjustments as determined necessary to finalize the recommendations presented by the City Manager.

Priority Teams

Priority Teams are typically interdepartmental teams utilizing City staff with a variety of expertise.

Early in the process the Priority Teams convene to familiarize themselves with the Strategy Maps and Requests for Results (RFR) which define the parameters of each Priority and describe what programs and services are needed to address the priority as well as the expected outcome. These RFR documents request that departments offer a program or service, while promising a certain level of performance at a specific price to be purchased.

Priority Teams then review and evaluate all offers submitted based on a nominal group technique. Aside from ranking, greater emphasis is placed on allowing the Priority Teams sufficient time to thoroughly review funding levels of each offer. Recommendations are then made to the Budget Committee on how to establish a balanced budget based on revenue projections developed independently by the Department of Finance.

Outside agencies offers are ranked by either the Human Services Committee, Roanoke Arts Commission or the Budget Committee depending on the nature of the application. 

Budget Committee
The Budget Committee consists of the City Manager, Assistant City Managers, Director of Management and Budget, Budget Administrator, Director of Finance, Accounting Supervisor, and Assistant to the City Manager.

Recommendations to an Adopted Budget
The City Manager's recommendations of programs and services are provided to City Council in the form of a Recommended Budget in April followed by a public hearing, budget study and ultimately an Adopted Budget in May.