A new ethics of the budgetary process

Jennifer K. Alexander, Cleveland State University


This article analyzes the ethical codes within public budgeting literature to demonstrate the need for a professional ethic that fosters an expanded sense of role responsibility. Drawing on examples of discretion exhibited by state and local budgeting administrators, the article argues that a number of administrative activities fall into a gap of the academic literature. Responsible budgeting decisions must be tied to an understanding of how administrative activities affect the collective welfare. A pedagogy of public budgeting that considers the ways in which institutional forces and the long-term public interest inform administrative action more adequately prepares budgeting administrators to understand their roles and responsibilities. [R]