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The Oakland County Triennial Budget is promulgated in accordance with the Unified Form of County Government Act, 1973 P.A. 139, and the Uniform Budgeting and Accounting Act for Local Units of Government, 1978 P.A. 621.

The National Advisory Council on State and Local Budgeting (NACSLB) defines the budget process as a set of activities that encompass the development, implementation and evaluation of a plan for the provision of services and capital assets.

A good budget process consists of far more than the preparation of a legal document appropriating funds for a series of line-items. Instead, a good budget process involves political, managerial, planning, communication, and financial dimensions. Accordingly, Oakland County's nationally recognized budget process is characterized by the following essential features:
  • Incorporates a long-term perspective
  • Establishes linkages to broad organizational goals
  • Focuses budget decisions on results and outcomes
  • Involves and promotes effective communication with stakeholders
  • Provides incentives to government management and employees
The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) of the United States and Canada has established an Award Program for Distinguished Budget Presentation. Eligible budgets are evaluated based on four categorical guidelines:
  • The budget as a Policy Document
  • The budget as a Financial Plan
  • The budget as an Operations Guide
  • The budget as a Communications Device