Budget Change Proposal Components

The Budget Change Proposal (BCP) is the primary vehicle used by California State departments and agencies to change the level of service (increases, decreases, or shifts) or funding sources (new funds or utilizing different fund source for the same purpose) for activities authorized by the Legislature, or to propose new program activities not currently authorized.

Below are the components that the Department of Finance requires to be included in a BCP.

·      Budget Request Summary: A high-level concise statement of the problem or context of the issue and how this proposal will address it (3-4 sentences). Also clearly identify the resources requested and specify whether the requested resources are one-time, phased-in, or ongoing.

·      Background/history: A factual description of changes that occurred that caused the problem the BCP would address. Use your workload study to identify the resources currently being expended by the state, e.g., dollars and positions. Summarize the current resource level in the narrative and include historical data in the five-year Program Workload Measures tab.

·      State-level considerations: A description of the state policy concerning the issue and the impact on other state departments. If known, identify areas of potential support and opposition forth is proposal.

·      Justification: An explanation of why this proposed solution is the optimal solution to address the problem. If positions are being requested to address increased workload, the workload study and information to support the recommended additional staffing is necessary is acritical component.

·      Outcomes and accountability: A description of the expected outcomes that will be achieved with the additional resources, how the additional resources will address the problem identified in the Summary, and how those outcomes will be monitored.

·      Analysis of all feasible alternatives: A list of at least three feasible alternatives. One must be a status quo alternative that includes adverse action that would result if the request were denied. Include a lower-cost alternative to address the problem. Identify the pros and cons of each alternative and the cost of each alternative. Adding full-time permanent positions may not be the most feasible alternative. Consider redirecting or reclassifying existing vacant positions, or using temporary help for short-term problems.

·      Implementation plan: A specification of major milestones for implementing the proposed solution, for example, hiring the additional staff (i.e. hiring and onboarding plan).

·      Recommendation: A clear and concise summary of the proposed recommendation and how the proposed recommendation is the optimal alternative to address the problem.

Understanding the required elements for a BCP is critical to writing a BCP that has a strong chance to get approved.

Additional Resources

See the Department of Finances website for more information about the elements of BCPs and how to write an effective BCP:

Additionally, CPS HR Consulting also has a Budget Change Proposal Workshop training that provides an overview of the budget change proposal process and offers discussions, exercises and simulated situations. Visit the CPS Training Center search page and search “Budget Change Proposal” to see upcoming course dates.

Click here to learn about the timeline and various agencies involved in the Budget Change Proposal process.

More California state departments are experiencing increased workload demands and need additional staff to meet those workload demands. The Budget Change Proposal (BCP) process is the primary mechanism required by the State of California for an organization to increase its staff.
Budget Change Proposal ComponentsDOWNLOAD
Chris Atkinson

Chris has over 10 years of experience working in private sector consulting, local government, and in internal consulting capacities. He specializes in organizational performance assessment and its several focus areas. He has assisted numerous organizations to assess problem areas and make recommendations for improvement so that they can target resources and achieve significant performance improvement.

About CPS HR Consulting

CPS HR Consulting is a self-supporting public agency providing a full range of integrated HR solutions to government and nonprofit clients across the country.  Our strategic approach to increasing the effectiveness of human resources results in improved organizational performance for our clients.  We have a deep expertise and unmatched perspective in guiding our clients in the areas of organizational strategy, recruitment and selection, classification and compensation, and training and development.