The departmental and program breakdown of the information in the city of Detroits budget does not provide quite the same level of detail or of annual change that the city of Austins budget does, but this more than made up for by the ease of accessing what details are available, and by the different formats of the two cities budgets almost necessitate these differences in clarity, but they do not entirely account for the lack of clarity in the city of Austins budget. That budget is already organized by department and broken down into the individual programs; tabulating the department totals and providing a clear overview of the major expenditure and revenue items on the budget would not have entailed any undue extra effort.
The city of Detroits budget clearly shows that both detail and overall clarity are entirely achievable in a municipal budget, making it both more effective and more efficient than the city of Austins budget. There was, admittedly, a lot of redundancy to the city of Detroits budget, but this largely what allows for the budgets ease of use (Stenberg 2007).
Lee, R.; Johnson, R. And Joyce, P. (2008). Public budgeting systems. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett.