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NOAA's Resurrection of Program Budgeting: Déjà Vu All Over Again?

Authors


William F. West is a professor and the Sara Lindsey Chair in the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. His primary interest is in institutional controls over the federal bureaucracy.
E-mail:wwest@bushschool.tamu.edu

Eric Lindquist is associate director and associate research scientist in the Institute for Science, Technology and Public Policy at Texas A&M University. His research interests are in public policy and decision processes, agenda setting, problem/solution definition studies, and the impact of focusing events on public policy.
E-mail:elindquist@bushschool.tamu.edu

Katrina N. Mosher-Howe is an assistant research scientist in the Institute for Science, Technology and Public Policy at Texas A&M University. Her research focuses on the impact of casualties from terrorism and international confl ict on foreign policy decision making. She is also interested in research examining decision making processes in science and public policy.
E-mail:kmosher@bushschool.tamu.edu

Abstract

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration instituted a Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution System (PPBES) in 2002. As supplemented by matrix management, PPBES was appealing as an effort to rationalize the performance of an agency with an especially high degree of functional overlap among its component parts. Although PPBES has had some salutary effects, the agency's experience to date consistent with accounts of the difficulties that led to the abandonment of program budgeting by the civilian bureaucracy almost 40 years ago. As such, it speaks to the limits of performance assessment as a means of reallocating resources and responsibilities across organizational boundaries.

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