Georgia Public Broadcasting Gets Zero-Based Budget Review

Mike Klein, GPPF Forum Editor

Georgia Public Broadcasting was named in Governor Nathan Deal’s 2013 proposed budget as one of 35 programs that will participate in zero-based budgeting reviews.  GPB is the only state authority whose budget shows up in the zero-based budget review category.

During his Tuesday evening State of the State address Governor Deal said 10 percent of state programs would move to zero-based budgets.

Popularly known as GPB-TV and GPB Radio, the authority’s official name is Georgia Public Telecommunications Commission.  The state public broadcaster is attached to the University System Board of Regents for budget purposes.  Governor Deal’s 2013 proposed budget would give GPB a very slight budget trim to $12.3 million in state dollars, less than the two percent average reduction at other agencies, but still millions of dollars below the agency’s high water mark during pre-recession budgets.

Governor Deal’s summary of zero based budget review programs is divided into five category names that were originally conceived under the now defunct Commission for a New Georgia:  Educated Georgia, Healthy Georgia, Safe Georgia, Best Managed State and Growing Georgia.

The Governor’s proposed budget was published Wednesday morning.  It states, “The purpose of the Zero Based Budgeting review is to assess a program against its statutory responsibilities, purpose, cost to provide services, and outcomes achieved.  Ten percent of programs are examined each year, including a thorough evaluation of the activities and services provided by the program, the performance measures demonstrating program outcomes and effectiveness, and program spending trends. The total recommended reduction to the programs shown above is $8,890,376.”

Educated Georgia programs that were identified for zero-based budget reviews include child care services at the Department of Early Care and Learning; technology and career education at the Department of Education; the central office at the Board of Regents and departmental administration at the Technical College System.

Healthy Georgia programs include adult forensic services at Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities; health care access and improvement at Community Health; adoption services and elder community living services at Human Services; the state trauma care network commission at Public Health; and the state Veterans Memorial Cemetery at Veterans Services.

Safe Georgia programs include departmental administration and probation supervision at Corrections; youth education services at Defense; the criminal justice information system at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation; the youth detention centers secure commitment program at Juvenile Justice; and public safety training centers program at Public Safety.

Many programs were identified in the Best Managed State category, including state purchasing at the Department of Administrative Services.  Three Governor’s Office programs were also named: the Governor’s Office for Children and Families, the Office of Student Achievement and the Office of Consumer Protection.  Four programs were selected at the State Personnel Administration including system administration and workforce development and alignment.

Also in the Best Managed State category, the Department of Labor business enterprise program will undergo a zero-based budget review as will the archives program at the Secretary of State’s office.

Growing Georgia programs include marketing and promotion at Agriculture, tourism at Economic Development and airport aid at Transportation.

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