Special Feature City Budget

NYC Money Meter

September 19, 2017

NYC money meter logoThe NYC Money Meter dashboard allows you to explore spending on core services provided by 15 New York City agencies and visualize key agency indicators to assess trends in workload and performance. The dashboard pulls from two sources: the Budget Function Analysis (BFA) and the Mayor’s Management Report (MMR).

  • The BFA reports spending by service line (i.e. function). It was first published by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in June 2007 along with the Fiscal Year 2008 Adopted Budget. The first version included only two agencies, the Administration for Children’s Services and Small Business Services. In January 2008 the report was expanded to cover 15 city agencies.1
  • The MMR was mandated by the New York City Charter in 1977 and contains key metrics intended to allow the public to assess how agencies are performing according to their service goals. Currently the MMR reports on 44 city agencies. As per the City Charter, the MMR is published each September and is preceded by a Preliminary MMR, which reports on the first four months of the fiscal year.2

The initiation of the BFA was an important step in improving the transparency and usability of the city’s budget because it reports agency spending, both actual and planned, along programmatic lines. The budget is traditionally presented by Units of Appropriation (UA), which are often too broad and not aligned with specific agency initiatives. The Independent Budget Office first published budget information aligned with program goals in 2005, and OMB followed suit in 2007.3 BFAs have been published every year since then, accompanying the preliminary, executive, and adopted budgets.  

The BFA should be expanded to cover more agencies. Currently, the report accounts for only 34 percent of the city’s fiscal year 2018 budget and excludes critical departments such as the Department of Education, the Fire Department, and the Department of Citywide Administrative Services.

Footnotes

  1. City of New York, Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget, Budget Function Analysis for Fiscal Year 2018 Adopted Budget (June 2017), www1.nyc.gov/assets/omb/downloads/pdf/adopt17-bfa.pdf, and fiscal years 2008 to 2016 editions, www1.nyc.gov/site/omb/publications/publications.page.
  2. City of New York, Mayor’s Office of Operations, Mayor’s Management Report (September 2017), www1.nyc.gov/assets/operations/downloads/pdf/mmr2017/2017_mmr.pdf, and fiscal years 2005 to 2016 editions, http://www1.nyc.gov/site/operations/performance/mmr.page.
  3. City of New York, Independent Budget Office, IBO’s Reestimate of the Mayor’s Preliminary Budget for 2006 and Financial Plan through 2009 (March 2005), www.ibo.nyc.ny.us/iboreports/march2005.pdf.