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A Management Information System for Local Governments

  • John Sjo (a1) and Arlo Biere (a1)

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We find two reasons to develop an improved management information system for local governments. One is the apparent inability of current local government management information systems to warn of imminent financial collapse or to indicate the degree of financial weakness of a local government. Another reason is the need for information that will promote the most efficient use of resources in providing public services.

During the 1970s certain local governments were unable to meet their obligations. Their current obligations exceeded current revenues. The nation was made aware of the crisis when New York City defaulted on some of its loan obligations and sought federal assistance. Other local governments have faced similar crises. Cleveland, Ohio, was in default for a short period during 1978 until it sold some of its assets (urban land and an electric power generating plant) to obtain cash and reduced its programs to reduce current outlays. The crises in those large cities have brought national attention to the financial problems of many local governments—urban and rural, large and small.

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References

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Green, David Jr.Depreciation of General Fixed Assets in Governmental Accounts.Mun. Finan. 24(1962):152–67.
Liebenstein, Harvey. “Allocative Efficiency vs. X-Efficiency.A mer. Econ. Rev. 56(1966):392415.
National Committee on Governmental Accounting. Governmental Accounting, Auditing, and Financial Reporting. Chicago: The Municipal Finance Officers Association of the U.S. and Canada, 1968.
Niskanen, William A. Jr.Bureaucracy and Representative Government. Chicago: Aldine-Atherton, 1971.
Sjo, John, Biere, Ario W., and Murray, William. “Ellis County Accounting System.” Unpublished report to Ellis County, Dec. 1975.
Sjo, John, Arlo, W., Erickson, Donald B., and Biere, Ario W.. “An Introduction to Public Services.” Public Affairs Pamph. No. 1, Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station, 1974, 8 p.
Stockfish, J. A.Analysis of Bureaucratic Behavior: The Ill-Defined Production Process.The Rand Paper Series P-5591. Santa Monica, California: The Rand Corp., 1976.

A Management Information System for Local Governments

  • John Sjo (a1) and Arlo Biere (a1)

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