As Chair of Board of Management, when in government, I was often confronted with many interesting proposals to spend money on projects of varying degree of credibility.
I recall one such occasion where it was proposed that we provide a company with $500K for an energy conversion project from oil to natural gas. Upon reviewing the actual financial data of the company and the project, it was clear the company not only had the financial means to do this project on their own, it was a 3-year payout project and it was clearly in their best interests to do the project regardless of our participation.
When as a board we declined participation, we were told there was $500K left in the department’s budget and what else were they going to do with it?
I suggested that simply spending to the budget amount should not be the priority.