FSD2270 Finnish Local Government 2004: Financial Management 1999Detailed description (collection | citation | publications)
Kallio, Olavi (University of Tampere. Department of Economics and Accounting)
Manninen, Juhani (University of Tampere. Department of Economics and Accounting)
Meklin, Pentti (University of Tampere. Department of Economics and Accounting)
Oulasvirta, Lasse (University of Tampere. Department of Economics and Accounting)
Keywords: accounting, budgetary control, economic planning, expenditure, income, local authority budgets, local finance, local government organizations, municipalities, service provision
The survey charted the practices of municipalities' financial management. The topics included covered financial planning and monitoring, accounting, monitoring revenues and expenses, and municipal auditing committee and its activities. The survey also included questions on the organisational structure of municipality.
The composing process of municipal budget was investigated by asking the respondents whether there was any preliminary debate prior to accepting the budget preparation instructions and by presenting them with a set of attitudinal statements on the nature of council seminars. Their views were also probed on which calculations accordant with the budget preparation instructions were agreed on in the council seminar on the budget, and how well different committees and other bodies responsible for allocations adhered to the budget framework.
The respondents were also asked for example how substantial the changes made to the budget in the local government were compared to the proposal submitted by the municipal manager, and how substantial the changes made in the council were compared to the budget proposal of the local government. The budget's operational goals and net budgeting were charted by asking the respondents to give their opinions on the number of operational goals and allocations binding the council. They also named the operational areas in which net budgeting was used, and whether there had been any changes in the use. They were also asked what kind of procedure was performed if the binding operational objectives and allocations were found to be unbalanced during the budget year.
Some questions pertained to monitoring the quality of services. The respondents were asked about customer feedback, service commitments, quality criteria defined in outsourcing service agreements, cash budgeting, liquidity plans, and investing plans.
Views were probed on the accuracy of the budget monitoring reports, and on how many times per year institutions/organs received these reports. The importance and adequacy of internal information from different bodies were charted. Some questions explored the application and implementation of the new accounting law.
Further questions focused on municipal organisation and its management, principles, and strategies. The respondents were asked about the role of municipal administration in service provision, and about the advantages and drawbacks of municipal organisation.
Background variables included the respondent's year of birth, gender, mother tongue, degree, school, and job title.