Managing Public Expenditure (GSOG6004)


This unit examines contemporary budgeting and financial management practices in Australia and selected comparative jurisdictions (for example, Canada and the United Kingdom) as a continuing site of political, bureaucratic, and parliamentary conflict. In particular, it is framed around the continuing quest to increase the 'rationality' of resource allocation. The unit traces the shift from traditional cash-based financial management to the rise of accrual-based performance budgeting, and examines issues such as the nature of 'budgeting control', the place of non-financial performance information in resource allocation, the consequences of accounting reforms for public accountability and the contested orthodoxy of applying 'market discipline' in budget-dependent government services. Students will review the changing role of central budget agencies, in particular, the influence of the accounting profession, corporate interests and international organisations on the reform agenda. At a practical level the unit provides insight into techniques for budget management and preparation, including the strategies and issues involved in risk management, procuring capital works and managing assets and facilities. The role and application of pricing policy and strategies are addressed in case studies.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


1x8hr seminar/week, 8.30am-4.30pm Thursday, weeks 1 to 4 and weeks 8 to 10


4500wd workbook & journal (50%), 3000wd budget briefing paper (30%), 2500wd Essay (20%)


GSOG6004 unit reader.

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Additional Information

Students who are not undertaking the award courses GCPA, GDPA, MPAdmin or EMPA must have the permission of the Director, Graduate School of Government, to take this unit of study.

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.