Position profile: Budget Analyst

Learn more about the position in the job posting.

  • Job Title: Budget Analyst
  • Work Unit: Budget Development & Reporting
  • Ministry: Alberta Treasury Board and Finance
  • Competition Number: 1053181

Position Summary

The Budget Analyst works within a team of Analysts who are the front-line contact on a variety of budgeting and business planning matters between Treasury Board and the Ministry(s) that they have been assigned. As part of a central organization, Analysts provide information and advice to senior Treasury Board and Finance officials, the Minister and the Treasury Board including written briefings on ministry current and 3-year spending issues, the fiscal implications of proposed policy, and the processes used in spending and business planning. Some work will provide proactive planning information, but other work is often reactive as issues affecting assigned ministries arise. Analysts must be aware of developments both within and external to government in order to answer questions or prepare comments/analysis based on proposals/correspondence provided by others.

Much of the work is extremely confidential and involves highly sensitive information on the proposed budgets and policies of assigned ministries and the government (e.g. proposed mandates for government labour negotiations, possible staff reductions, etc.). Analysts work with detailed budget numbers within a complex fiscal framework, review proposals to make recommendations on spending issues, and may participate in Treasury Board meetings.

Specific Accountabilities

Decision makers (Treasury Board, Cabinet and other committees) are provided timely, accurate analysis and recommendations on which to base spending decisions and develop budget details.

  • Compile and assess information on spending pressures faced by ministries
  • Research, analyze and prepare summaries and recommendations for decision makers on issues with fiscal implications
  • As required, attend Treasury Board meetings and report, clarify and advise on issues
  • Prepare memoranda for communicating decisions made by the Treasury Board and track impact of decisions on the fiscal plan and annual budget targets and Estimates
  • Be aware of current developments that may impact ministries and assess and advise on these developments

Ministries provide documentation to enable the President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance to develop spending details and table legislatively required reports (Estimates, Supplementary Estimates, business plans) and contribute information to support fiscal planning activities and financial reporting duties.

  • Develop instructions, workshops, templates and other materials to ministries to enable them to supply required information
  • Work with ministry officials to ensure budgets, business plans, Estimates and Supplementary Estimates comply with standards, meet legislated requirements and are consistent with the government business plan
  • Help in the preparation of the Government of Alberta business plan and the government's annual report
  • Identify and work with ministries to explain significant variances in actual or forecasted results as compared to budget
  • Identify, monitor and help to resolve issues that impact ministries and the government's fiscal plan, including the impact of activities by other governments and stakeholders
  • Provide advice on process to develop fiscal recommendations when required
  • Assist in the preparation of ministry business plan, Estimates, Supplementary Estimates and Fiscal Plan for publication

Recommendations on ministry programs are provided to decision makers and accepted recommendations are implemented

  • Support ministries and others in the implementation of any program changes
  • As requested, prepare reports and briefings on the findings and recommendations arising from any program changes
  • Follow up, as required, on the implementation of accepted program changes

Communications, both external and internal to government, with fiscal implications are timely, accurate and contain the intended message

  • Provide input into Treasury Board and Finance press releases on fiscal plans and reports
  • Review and provide comments to Treasury Board and Finance communications on fiscal information in press releases from ministries
  • Prepare written responses for the President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance to other ministries, non-government organizations and Albertans
  • When requested, discuss specific concerns with Albertans
  • Assist in preparing comments/briefings for external parties

Financial implications of proposed government policy recommendations are identified, and advice and recommendations to the Deputy Minister and Minister are useful and relevant

  • Research, analyze and provide background briefings for the Deputy Minister and Minister on proposed program policy, legislation and other matters for Cabinet and other committees.
  • Represent Treasury Board and Finance on inter-ministry committees and working groups

Ministries' budget, Estimates, fiscal policy, fiscal framework and process questions are accurately addressed

  • Inform and educate ministries on budgeting, Estimates, fiscal policy, fiscal framework and process
  • Work with ministries on financial/accounting issues, using resources in other Treasury Board and Finance areas as required
  • Be aware of issues raised by the Auditor General, comment as required to ensure fair fiscal presentation, and advise ministries as required

Other assigned responsibilities are carried out in a timely, accurate manner giving consideration to all relevant information.

  • Assist Treasury Board and Finance in meeting its business plan goals, including participation in internal committees and assisting in developing business cases and Minister's Reports
  • Provide advice and support to other analysts and to other areas in the ministry
  • As required, help prepare draft Treasury Board Minutes and Directives for consideration by Treasury Board on administrative and financial policy matters
  • Lead/participate in Division projects

Knowledge / Experience

  • University degree in Business, Economics, Public Administration or related discipline.
  • An accounting designation is desirable.
  • Experience in the provincial budget and business planning process or in public administration is preferred.
  • Excellent communication skills are required, as well as strong technical and analytical skills and the ability to deal effectively with elected and senior government officials.
  • Ability to exercise judgment when evaluating complex situations with multi-faceted criteria.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the legislative and the government decision-making process would be an asset.
  • Ability to research and apply policy and specific pieces of legislation (legislation to be used primarily financial such as the Financial Administration Act, Fiscal Management Act and Appropriation acts) is required.

Leadership and Business Know-How

Analysts work independently to coordinate, monitor, and make recommendations relating to budget and business planning matters within their assigned ministries. Analysts must facilitate ongoing communication and teamwork with others in the division and within assigned ministries (most often the Senior Financial Officer and budget planning officials but also, depending on the ministry, Assistant Deputy Ministers). Often analysts are the first point of contact on ministry enquiries. They must assess whether the issue relates to other branches of Treasury Board and Finance and coordinate with them as required.

Problem Solving

Analysts must be knowledgeable about a wide array of extremely complex aspects of the government budget; for example, potential costs from labour settlements, factors affecting major program costs and utilization, and federal funding. Even for those experienced analysts, the level of detail and complexity of the various budget numbers can be problematic - particularly given the government's fiscal framework that requires more detailed budget information to be compiled and understood. It is imperative for analysts to maintain extreme attention to detail, and a clearly focused mind to keep detailed budget information correct while considering the policy implications of budget allocations. In addition, analysts have to work within short, fixed timelines and tight deadlines especially in the October to March time period. As issues arise, they may be able to consult with senior management and/or others in Treasury Board and Finance possessing specialized knowledge or information (e.g., on accounting principles, on tax policy matters, on federal financing issues).

Relationships / Contacts

Clients Frequency Nature and Purpose of Contact
Internal
Minister As required Advice / Recommendations / Briefings
     
Deputy Minister As required Advice / Recommendations / Briefings
     
Assistant Deputy Minister Ongoing Advice / Recommendations / Approvals / Operational Matters
     
Senior Management Ongoing Operational Matters / Approvals
     
BDR Team Ongoing Operational Matters / Dissemination of Information
     
Communications Ongoing Internal / External Communications / News Release
     
External
Treasury Board Committee As required Advice / Recommendations / Updates
     
Policy Coordination Office As required Advice / Comments - budget, financial matters
     
Ministry of Infrastructure Ongoing Capital matters
     
External Ministry clients Ongoing Advice / Recommendations - budget, business planning and financial matters
     
Public As required General inquiries

Impact and Magnitude of Job (Scope)

Analysts are responsible for providing information and advice on a variety of matters between Treasury Board and Finance and the ministries to which they have been assigned. The work involves extremely confidential and highly sensitive information on the proposed budgets, programs and policies of the assigned ministries and government. Failure of Analysts to provide accurate information to assigned ministries will lead to major discrepancies and potential misunderstandings which can have serious consequences for the budget and business planning process. Analysts also provide critical information and advice to the Minister, Deputy Minister and Treasury Board and provide input into external communications; as such, the analyst must be aware and/or anticipate issues that could potentially affect their ministries and the government overall.

The Government of Alberta is committed to a diverse and inclusive public service that reflects the population we serve to best meet the needs of Albertans. Consider joining a team where diversity, inclusion and innovation are valued and supported. For more information on diversity and inclusion, please visit the Diversity and Inclusion Policy.