COVID-19 has contributed to significant changes in almost all aspects of the economy. Many countries across the globe were forced to relook at their budget to survive the economic impacts (Auerbach et al., 2020). In the article, “Reconsidering public budgeting after the COVID-19 outbreak,” Eugenio Anessi-Pessina et al. (2020) present a view on public budget restructuring. Although this article produced insightful results showing that to handle COVID-19-based problems, budgeting and forming need to be considered, there are limitations linked with validity, reliability and generalization of the result.
Anessi-Pessina et al. (2020) used extant research and Italian context to reflect on how governmental budgeting processes must be reassessed after the COVID-19 pandemic. The authors used information from existing sources to show that budgeting operations require adjustments to effectively handle uncertain situations. For example, a government need to make sure that their budget is able to cope with shocks such as COVID-19. Apart from existing sources, the authors decided to use the Italian case to show how the ongoing pandemic have exposed some of the weaknesses in the government budgeting system. The authors identified an area like digitalization of operations that is not effectively funded.
Moreover, Anessi-Pessina et al. (2020) discussed an important aspect like the role of citizens in budgeting, even as governments across the globe are trying to improve their budget to contain the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Drawing from existing literature on the area of study, they have shown that citizens play an integral role in the budgeting cycle of governments. Active citizens assist the governments in identifying the stakeholder needs and services to be offered and the amount to be allocated (Auerbach et al., 2020). In addition, the citizens can be involved when making decisions about the attributes of services and their operational productions. Therefore, governments are supposed to engage the citizens during budget-making effectively.
Although significant factors in regards to government budgeting were discussed and findings obtained, there are some limitations. To start with, the sample size used by the authors was small to make any determination. Some of the findings were based on the case of Italy as one of the hardest-hit countries across the globe. The authors failed to include other countries in their research to obtain various views on government budgeting. According to Morgan et al. (2017), different governments have different budgeting processes. The authors also majored in secondary data as the main source of data. The use of secondary resources opens up questions regarding the validity and reliability of the findings. Thus, the limitations identified to affect the outcome of the study.
The article focused on important areas of considerations for government budgeting after the COVID-19 pandemic. Government budgeting is an important process because it determines the areas of funding in governmental operations. Because of COVID-19, various loopholes have been identified in the current government budgeting systems. The authors shared encouraging insights on the need for citizen engagement and creating a strategic budget with greater flexibility. Budget structure and classifications need to be reviewed for better decision-making and accountability. Governments need to understand that with uncertain comes corruption. However, a focus on one case and the use of existing literature limit the findings’ validity and reliability. Therefore, future research on public budgeting needs to widen their research to provide evidence on areas of improvement.
Anessi-Pessina, E., Barbera, C., Langella, C., Manes-Rossi, F., Sancino, A., Sicilia, M., & Steccolini, I. (2020). Reconsidering public budgeting after the COVID-19 outbreak: Key lessons and future challenges. Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, 32(5), 957-965. Web.
Auerbach, A. J., Gale, W. G., Lutz, B., & Sheiner, L. (2020). Effects of COVID-19 on Federal, State, and Local Government Budgets. Web.
Morgan, D., Robinson, K. S., Strachota, D., & Hough, J. A. (2017). Budgeting for local governments and communities (2nd ed.). Routledge.