Budget law

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Budget cycle using the example of the federal budget

The budget law includes those provisions , the planning , determination , execution and control of the budget of the public sector have as their object. Due to its final character, it is part of planning law .


In addition to the Basic Law , the sources of law for federal budget law include the Budget Principles Act , the Federal Budget Code , the Stability and Growth Act and the Federal Audit Office Act . The budget principles also apply .

Budget law regulates the content of public budget and accounting; be it cameralistics or double-entry .

The federal budget is issued as an annex to the Federal Budget Act , a law in the purely formal sense. Analogous to this, the federal states enact state budget laws .

In the case of municipalities , budget law is primarily regulated in the municipal ordinances and municipal budget ordinances . The budget of a municipality - in contrast to the federal and state governments - is not adopted within the framework of a budget law , but through a budget statute.

Budget cycle

The budget cycle is basically divided into four phases. It takes about three and a half years for this so-called cycle to be completed. It is mainly carried out by the 1st phase: preparation of the budget (by the executive ), the 2nd phase: budget legislative procedure (by the legislature ), the 3rd phase: implementation of the budget (by the executive) and the final 4th phase: Control procedure (by the Federal Audit Office and the legislature) spoken. Thus the budget cycle is the development of the annual budget from the drawing up to the discharge of the federal government . It can also be seen from this that the resulting budget is drawn up according to the political and strategic goals of the respective federal government (executive as in phase 1). In this way, the elected federal government can exert direct influence on its current policy and form future political priorities. It should be noted that only the Federal Chancellor has the authority to issue guidelines and the relevant Federal Minister of Finance only administers the funds.

1st phase: Drawing up the budget (by the executive)
The drawing up of the budget begins around 15 months before the relevant budget year (calendar year) in several individual steps. In preparation , the economic development is evaluated and a medium-term tax assessment is carried out by the tax assessment working group.

Representatives in this working group for tax assessment are:

The federal government then issued a cabinet resolution on the key figures for the financial and budget plan based on the top-down principle (dictated from above). The Federal Minister of Finance draws up a letter of implementation with the key figures for the individual departments. After the specialist ministers have written the budget preparation decree, the budget commissioner prepares the budget for its own chapter within the framework of the key points in each federal authority. The chapter proposals that have been drawn up are then returned to the specialist ministers; these proposals are summarized in their own individual plan. The federal finance minister can submit the draft of the budget law with its annex to the budget (after coordination discussions with the ministries) to the federal government. Finally, in the preparation phase, the federal government again issues a resolution on the budget bill with a budget (and also the financial plan).

Phase 2: domestic legislative procedure (by the Legislature, see budget law )
Phase 3: Bewirtschafts- and implementation phase (by the executive)
Phase 4: control procedures (by the Federal Court and the legislature)


In contrast to countries with parliamentary democracies, where the parliament has the sole authority to determine the budget, in Switzerland direct democracy has to be taken into account in some cases. At the federal level, however, the parliament has sole financial authority here too ; direct democracy is limited to legislation and certain international treaties. In most cantons , however, the requirement applies above a certain amount limits to submit a spending project at a referendum, or it may be the referendum to be taken against it. At the local level that decides Municipal Assembly on major issues.


  • Klaus Grupp: Budget Law , in: Norbert Achterberg / Günter Püttner / Thomas Würtenberger (Eds.): Special administrative law. A teaching and manual , Vol. II: Municipal, budget, tax, regulatory, social, service law , 2nd edition, Heidelberg 2000, § 19, ISBN 3-8114-2045-3
  • E. Gruner / B. Junker: Citizens, State and Politics in Switzerland , 2nd edition, Basel 1972.
  • Wiesener / Leibinger / Müller: Public Finance , 13th Edition, Heidelberg 2014. RVDecker Publishing Group, ISBN 3-7685-0529-4

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/brhg_1985/index.html accessed March 7, 2016
  2. http://www.haushaltssteuerung.de/lexikon-gemeindehaushaltsverordnung-gemhvo.html accessed March 7, 2016
  3. ^ Jens Findeisen, Friederike Trommer: Kommunale Finanzwirtschaft (Doppik) . Kommunal- und Schul-Verlag, Wiesbaden 2016, p. 13 ISBN 978-3-8293-1243-1