The stages of the budget cycle include the following: first, engaging in preparatory activities before preparing the budget. An example is where managers take full commitments in fulfilling their roles and responsibilities. Second, making budget calls. For example, managers contribute to making budget calls in understanding the problems and responsibilities as defined by their duties. The third stage involves making decisions about budget proposals. For example, public managers decide on the kind of proposal that should be presented (Swain & Reed, 2010). Fourth, preparing proposals and all other relevant documents that could be significant. In the case of public managers, they make full documentation of the pertinent information that has been gathered regarding the suitability of the proposed budget. Fifth, the proposal should be reviewed to ascertain if there are areas that require adjustments and corrections. A case example is whereby public managers are included as part of the reviewing team that has been given the mandate of determining whether the proposal is relevant or not. They also create room for addressing questions and concerns. The final stage of the budget cycle involves finalization of the overall budget proposal. For example, public managers are involved in formulating policies and procedures that should be incorporated in the final proposal after undergoing reviews (Swain & Reed, 2010).
Public managers are greatest during the first stage of the budget cycle by participating in preparatory activities. They are important at the first phase because they offer their professional expertise by creating awareness and understanding problems and opportunities that are relevant to those roles. Also, they deal and recognize information that is related to their lines of duty. Public managers are also significant in the preparatory stage of the budget cycle because they create awareness concerning the possible sources of information for example magazines that are likely to be helpful in preparing budgets (Bamberger, Rugh & Mabry, 2012). Under the top down versus bottom up elements, competitors are described as other public managers because organizational units require funding to carry out their activities. Public managers are viewed as competitors because they never seem to be satisfied with the funds that they are allocated. Additionally, public managers consider the policy makers as the people who determine their budgetary allocations. Hence, they consequently see four types of policy-making positions: those who are higher in their organizational hierarchy, the executive surrogates, policy board members, and the staff (Swain & Reed, 2010).

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    References
  • Bamberger, M., Rugh, J., & Mabry, L. (2012). RealWorld evaluation: Working under budget, time, data, and political constraints. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
  • Swain, J. W., & Reed, B.J., (2010). Budgeting for public managers. Routledge. Taylor & Francis Group. London, UK., New York, NY.