Mayor's Office Press Release

Mayor Turner Takes First Major Step Toward New Performance Driven Budgeting

January 27, 2016 -- In keeping with another promise he made in his Inaugural Address, Mayor Sylvester Turner has signed an Executive Order (EO) requiring a new focus on outcomes, transparency and the elimination of waste and inefficient expenditures in the City budget.  The Effective Financial and Performance Management EO envisions increased emphasis on achieving performance-based outcomes when it comes to how the City spends and manages its dollars.

“From time to time there will be challenges that force us to change course and reevaluate our approach,” said Mayor Turner.  “The upcoming City budget process is one of those times.  There are well documented financial pressures ahead of us.  We must make fundamental changes in how we manage our resources and in how we use them to deliver the services Houstonians not only expect, but also deserve.”

The Executive Order is meant to:

  • Help City leadership make informed choices through increased visibility into departmental budgets, resource allocations and service provision
  • Focus budget, capital and spending decisions on specified, measurable results and outcomes
  • Fully link operating budgets, Capital Improvement Plan, and performance metrics to clear, measurable short and long-term goals
  • Maximize City resources by eliminating waste, inefficiency and redundancy within and across departments
  • Increase public participation in assessing needs and establishing priorities that guide development of the City’s operating budgets and Capital Improvement Plan

Success under the new plan will be measured by how well the City uses limited resources to achieve targeted outcomes and objectives.  The incremental budgeting approach that relies on prior-year spending levels as a baseline for future investment will be replaced with a performance-based approach. There will be a new focus on eliminating waste, inefficiency and redundancy in the delivery of services.

“We will hold ourselves accountable and will enable others to do the same by making City spending and performance information more transparent and accessible,” said Turner.  “The shift to performance-based budgeting and management will take time, but we can make great progress as we begin to build the budget for the coming fiscal year.”

A new Administrative Procedure is forthcoming to complement the EO and provide an outline of short-term steps to the mayor’s new approach.  The entire process will be managed by the City’s Finance Department led by Director Kelly Dowe.

The EO is available at http://www.houstontx.gov/execorders/1-53.pdf.