Here is an essay on the ‘American Bureau of Budget’ for class 9, 10, 11 and 12. Find paragraphs, long and short essays on the ‘American Bureau of Budget’ especially written for school and college students.
Essay # 1. Origin of American Bureau of the Budget:
In the U.S.A. before 1921 there was no proper system corresponding to the British Treasury or Indian Ministry of Finance for the preparation of the budget. The various departments prepared their estimates and sent them to the Department of Treasury which consolidated and sent them to the Congress without any scrutiny or co-ordination.
The Budget and Accounting Act, 1921 brought about certain reforms in the American budget system along the British lines.
Accordingly, a Bureau of the Budget was set up originally in the Department of Treasury, but later was transferred to the White House. Now it forms a part of the office of the American President.
The Bureau of the Budget is charged with the function of preparing the National Budget under the supervision of the President. It is headed by the Director of the Budget, who is assisted by six Assistant Directors and the General Council.
In U.S.A. there is a Department of Treasury also, but its functions are wholly different from those of the British Treasury or Indian Ministry of Finance. It is mainly concerned with the function of Treasury nature—custody of public funds, their disbursement and procurement and has little to do with budgetary control.
Essay # 2. Functions of American Bureau of the Budget:
Under Executive order 8248 dated September 8, 1939 following functions were assigned to the Bureau of Budget:
(i) To assist the President in the fiscal programme of the government;
(ii) To supervise and control the administration of Budget;
(iii) To conduct research in the development of improved plans of administrative management, and to advise the executive departments and agencies of the government with respect to improved administrative organisation and practice;
(iv) To aid the President to bring about more efficient and economical conduct of Government Service;
(v) To assist the President by clearing and coordinating departmental advice on proposed legislation;
(vi) To assist in the consideration and clearance and, where necessary, in the preparation of proposed Executive orders and proclamations.
(vi) To keep the President informed of the progress of activities by agencies of government.
(vii) To plan and promote the improvement, development and coordination of statistical services.
All the departmental estimates are submitted to the Bureau of the Budget for scrutiny and co-ordination. The Bureau calls the official representatives of the various departments, gives them a hearing and after such revision and review as it thinks necessary, produces a unified and co-ordination budget more or less after the fashion of the British Treasury.
Thus the Bureau does not only act as an agency for assisting the President in the preparation of Budget but is also to keep a vigilant eye on the expenses of the Government. He is to see that they are bare minimum.
The President transmits this budget to the Congress as his executive budget. As there is separation of powers in America, the President is not in a position to exercise financial leadership in the Congress. As a consequence, the voting in the Congress is still along the old chaotic lines.
The demands are considered in each House by the Appropriation Committee which gets the estimates of each department of the Government examined by its several sub-committees. The Departmental officials appear before those sub-committees, but they do not plead tor more than what the President has provided for in the estimates.
The committees are quite free to make additions or reductions in the demands as they come from the President. Sometimes the demands are so changed that very little of the original plan on which they were drawn the Bureau of the Budget is left. The American Budget System is, therefore, still largely disintegrated and uncoordinated.
Essay # 3. Comptroller General and his Powers:
The Budgetary Control in U.S.A. is thus divided between the Congress and the Bureau of the Budget. The Budget and Accounting Act, 1921 also establishes the office of the Comptroller General who is independent of the control of the executive and exercises the power of financial control in his own right.
The Comptroller General is the head of the General Accounting Office and is appointed by the President with the approval of the Senate for a term of 15 years. No person is eligible for appointment for the second term in succession.
The Comptroller General has far reaching investigating and auditing powers. His control over expenditure consists in his power to approve the warrants for fund issued by the Secretary of the Treasury, of making advance decision regarding the legality of the proposed expenditure of settling claims of the individuals against the United States, and of recovering debts to the United States.
He is also authorized to prescribe forms, systems and procedures for the accounting system of the several departments.
Essay # 4. American Bureau of the Budget Financial Control:
The Bureau of the Budget exercises financial control through some other devices also- dividing the annual appropriation of a department into four quarterly installments to which its expenditure during the quarter must be limited.
This apportionment is done with a view to ensure that expenditure should be fairly spread over the whole year and it should not be exhausted too soon or should not be hurriedly spent towards the close of the year.
The Bureau has also the power to demand the surrender of balances which cannot, in its opinion, be usefully spent. The departments are also required to submit monthly reports to the Treasury on the state of each of their quarterly apportions. The Bureau has also been given the power of fixing the strength of the maximum staff which the Department concerned should not exceed.
In spite of all these various systems of control the arrangement for legislative control of Public Expenditure is not effective. It is incomplete, disintegrated and extremely unsatisfactory. The separation of powers embodied in the American Government has prevented an effective arrangement for legislative control of public expenditure as we find in England or India.