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Budget Primer

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The County Budget Office is part of the County Executive Office and reports to the County Finance Officer. The division's primary responsibility is the County's budget: planning, preparation, presentation and monitoring and development of the County's Long-Range Strategic Financial Plan. This is described in more detail below. In addition, the division performs special studies and participates in working groups to assist the CEO and County departments with special projects.

The County's fiscal year starts on July 1. The County's budget process usually begins in late December with careful planning. The division prepares budget policy and detailed budget instructions for County departments. The budget calendar is updated to establish completion dates for key events in the budget process.

County departments then prepare their budget requests and submit them to the Budget Services Division. The submittal may include formal presentations by the department head or financial manager to the CEO and key Budget Services staff.

The County Budget Office reviews and analyzes the department's budget requests and makes recommendations to the CEO. Budget Services will also, in coordination with the County Auditor-Controller's office, establish the level of non-departmental, County-wide revenues that will be available to the County. The budget is compiled, balanced and reviewed with the Chief Financial Officer and CEO. After this review, a Budget Workbook is published.

The County Budget Office plans and conducts public budget workshops. It also holds briefing sessions for the County Board of Supervisors' staff members and study sessions for the Board members themselves. Finally, the CEO presents the budget during Board hearings and the Board takes formal action to adopt the budget.

The adopted budget becomes the spending plan (and spending limit) for the County departments. Actual revenues and expenses are monitored during the year and reported to the Board quarterly. The budget may be modified based on quarterly reports to reflect new assumptions or events.

In summary, The County Budget Office produces a balanced County budget, based on Board policy and planning, consistent with the Long-Range Strategic Financial Plan and realistically reflects the funds available to County departments and programs and how those funds will be spent.


Notice: The following pages present selected financial and other information concerning the County of Orange. The information does not represent, nor is it intended to represent, complete financial data or all of the information a visitor or investor may desire. All information presented herein is dated as of its date and the County of Orange makes no representation that such information is current or complete.