Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name



Department of Public Administration

First Advisor

Dr. Keith Simmonds


The primary intent of this study is to examine the claim that Zero-Base Budgeting (ZBB) is the budgetary approach that is used by the Division of Rehabilitation Services within the Georgia Department of Human Resources. Keeping in mind the principal characteristics of ZBB, that is, procedure, program justification and program comparisons, the writer also seeks to measure the operational reality of ZBB, as is currently applied within the Division of Rehabilitation Services. The Division of Rehabilitation Services is a State Government agency which has the legal mandate for provision of services designed to foster independence and self-sufficiency of handicapped persons, to advocate in behalf of their needs and rights; and to work energetically and cooperatively with other public and private entities in order to ensure an efficient and effective use of available rehabilitation resources. The nature of the political system favors a line-item-budget but the State of Georgia has attempted to overcome the weaknesses of this budgetary approach by introducing ZBB. However, the paper shows that because of the nature of the political system and the manner in which services are delivered ZBB is a distinct ideal rather than a reality. This fact is most evident in the Division of Rehabilitation Services. Much of the confusion and contradictions lie in the areas of the ranking of priorities, justification of expenses and interpretation of the meaning of the ZBB. Although this study is confined to the Division of Rehabilitation Services, it is hoped that the study will contribute to a better understanding of the Zero-Base Budgeting process by the readers of this paper. This topic was chosen in order to determine the relationship between theory and practice of Zero-Base Budgeting process in the State of Georgia. The data for this study were obtained from both primary and secondary sources, and the methodology employed is descriptive analysis.