Death of a Spy Satellite Program
This was a project proposed by the government of the United States to build a modern satellite spy satellites for security matters. It was envisaged that upon its completion, the analysis of terrorists' activities and tracking of nuclear weapons would be made much easier. This was the motive behind the urge to invest in such an expensive facility. The project however never got underway due to improper budgeting and other technicalities involving the project.
In the process of budget making, there are many actors involved. There is the government, the legislature, the civil society and the press. The government in many cases prepares the budget proposals and takes them to the legislature for debate. Any amendments are made based on deliberations. The government is therefore responsible for preparing the budget and presenting it to parliament for approval. It also administers the budget through allocating and reimbursing the funds to various sectors whenever required.
The legislature has an important duty of debating on matters concerning various budget estimates. It questions the rationale behind giving finances to some sectors. The legislature is entitled to get answers. This ensures that there is accountability on the part of government on why some sectors get bigger allocations than others do. It can also propose any changes that they are desirous. This implies that this group of leaders too, has an important duty in budget making.
In the case subject to discussion, the project for the construction of a modern spy satellite facility fell through due to inappropriate budgeting. The project was never studied correctly to establish the likely costs to be incurred. It is reported that it could cost two or three billion dollars more. This made it difficult for any such funds to be availed given the huge estimates not planned for in the budget. This shows that for a smooth execution of a project of such magnitude, adequate and accurate forecasting must be done so that it is properly catered for during the budget process.
In the budgetary process, there is no doubt about the politics involved. This is because the budget is prepared by the government and approved by the legislature. These are groups of politicians, thereby difficult to remove elements of political bias. Every individual therefore strives to influence the budget to address the areas, which is considered as helpful to their political endeavors. This indicates that all deliberations are informed based on political affiliations and objectives.