The allocation of public funds in Switzerland is effected on three levels: the federal government, the cantons, the communes, and the private sector. Allocation is subject to the principle of subsidiarity. On the federal level, pursuant to the Culture Dispatch, the culture budget is determined by Parliament for a period of usually four years (one legislative term). In the cantons and communes, financial resources for the promotion of culture come from the annually approved public budget – in some cases also for multi-year periods.
Public administrations in Switzerland are, as a rule, run according to which individual areas are allocated global budgets. These budgets must be used in accordance with performance mandates and service agreements – which run for periods lasting from one to four years depending on the regional authority.
Actual budgets are passed, in each case, by Parliament. Laws and decrees regulate the areas of responsibility, but not how they are financed. Another case is bequests, which are to be federally administered. Bequests often have to be made available for certain purposes (e.g. social, cultural).