Zero Based Budget (ZBB) – means the agency starts from zero, in terms of budget and program is sacrosanct; all must be justified to receive continuous funding.
Zero based budgets require answering two questions about each program.
Are the current activities effective and efficient?
Should current activities be eliminated or reduced to fund higher priority or new programs?
ZBB is unique in its concepts of decision packages, which are made up by decision units, are grouped into longer decision package, which are really programs. The decision package then is presented at three budget levels:
The amount of funding needed to maintain the program at its highest reasonable or optional level.
The amount needed to maintain the program is at its highest reasonableness.
The amount needed to maintain it at the lowest possible, while remaining reasonably effective. This level of fund should be the point at which any less funding would reduced the programs effectiveness so far as to justify its elimination.
Administrator’s choice of methodology must be based on experience, knowledge of other agencies, successful practices, understanding of the community, intuition and judgment. Any program adopted by a law enforcement agency must meet three essential criteria:
The program must be effective; it must accomplish some parts of agencies central purpose.
The program must be legally and constitutionally accepted.
The program must conform to the community’s sense of what is appropriate and proper for its law enforcement agency.