Citizen Dissatisfaction Leads to Budget Cuts, or Not: A Case Study of a Local Taiwanese Government (低满意度必然导致预算删减?未必:台湾地方政府的个案研究)



This article addresses how government agencies allocate their program budgets in response to citizen dissatisfaction. It examines three unpopular public programs with varying budget allocations overseen by different government agencies in New Taipei City, Taiwan. The article argues that low levels of citizen satisfaction do not necessarily lead to budget cuts. Rather, budget allocation is mediated by the policy preference of the elected mayor and the intrinsic characteristics of a program. An unpopular program gets cut only if it is of less political priority and there is a lack of interest in the given agency. According to the bureau-shaping model, bureau heads only expand programs give them primacy as policy makers rather than program operators or fund distributers. However, this article shows that whether the program does this or not, the program can still be in preference if the mayor remains in sympathy with the program or the program is associated with the agency's policy function. The former would lead to the reallocation of funds for gaining citizen support; the latter would earn more funds to improve the program performance.

本文以台湾新北市三个分受不同机构管辖的低满意度或支持度之计划为个案,探讨政府机构如何以调整预算资源的配置来响应民众对施政计划的不满。本文指出,民众对计划的满意度高低,并非唯一影响预算删减与否的因素,计划预算的调整亦与民选市长对计划的偏好程度及计划的内在特质相关。研究指出,只有民选市长与管辖的机关对计划的偏好程度低的计划,会以民众不满为由删减其预算。首先,根据官僚型塑模型(bureau-shaping model),相较于计划执行者或资源分配者,机关首长更偏好能塑造其政策制定者角色的计划,且通常倾向于扩张此类计划的预算。此外,本文亦发现,无论(不受民众欢迎的)计划的本质是否能增加机关首长的政策制定者角色,只要民选首长对此计划有偏好,其预算能免于删减。根据新北市的个案研究,不受民众欢迎的计划,若民选首长有较强的政策偏好,则机关首长会加强政策倡导、与民沟通等业务的预算,以增加民众的满意度;若民选首长对政策无偏好或偏好中立,但该计划能强化机关首长的政策制定角色,则民众对计划的不满反能成为要求计划之预算扩增以促进绩效的理由。