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Ethics In Local Government Budgeting: Is There A Gap Between Theory And Practice?

Author: AIMEE L. FRANKLIN and JOS C.N. RAADSCHELDERS
Published in PAQ, Vol. 27 No. 4

The original question underscoring this research is: What role do ethics
play in the budgetary decision-making in Oklahoma's local government?
To answer this question, this article presents an overview of the
budget process and the roles of key actors. Then it describes typical
day-to-day dilemmas local budget actors face. By examining how city
managers and chief financial officers respond and the sources of
guidance they turn to, the authors are able to construct an operational
definition of ethics-in-action. Using the information from this analysis,
they then compare what occurs in practice with what is expected and is
prescribed in the literature. One conclusion to be drawn from this
research is that a gap exists in that the literature does not adequately
consider the roles that individual value and preferences play when
resolving budgetary dilemmas.

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