15 jui 2011
Fiscal and Monetary Institutions in Central, Eastern and South-Eastern European Countries
This article studies the role of fiscal and monetary institutions in macroeconomic stability and budgetary control in central, eastern and south-eastern European countries (CESEE) in comparison with other OECD countries. CESEE countries tend to grow faster (or at least tended to grow faster before the crisis) and have more volatile output than non-CESEE OECD countries, which has implications for macroeconomic management: better fiscal and monetary institutions are needed to avoid pro-cyclical policies. The article develops a Budgetary Discipline Index to assess whether good fiscal institutions underpin good fiscal outcomes. Even though most CESEE countries have low scores, the debt/GDP ratios declined before the crisis. This was largely the consequence of a very favourable relationship between the economic growth rate and the interest rate, but such a favourable relationship is not expected in the future. Econometric estimations confirm that better monetary institutions reduce macroeconomic volatility and that countries with better budgetary procedures have better fiscal outcomes. All these factors call for improved monetary institutions, stronger fiscal rules and better budgetary procedures in CESEE countries.
15 jui 2011
How To Attain Value for Money
Governments increasingly use public-private partnerships (PPPs) to pursue value for money. However, value for money is (or at least, should be) the driving force behind traditional infrastructure procurement. Therefore, any project, whether it is a PPP or a traditionally procured project, should be undertaken only if it creates value for money. It seems that the choice between using a PPP or traditional procurement should be simple: governments should prefer the method that creates the most value for money. However, in practice the value-for-money objective is very often blurred, and the choice between using a PPP and traditional infrastructure procurement may be skewed by factors other than value for money. Some factors skew choice towards traditional procurement, while others skew it towards PPPs. Drawing on the results of a questionnaire sent to all OECD and some non-OECD countries, this article considers the various factors that may skew this choice and thereby undermine the pursuit of value for money. The results of the questionnaire point especially to differences in the range and complexity of the ex ante and ex post value-for-money tests that some governments apply to PPPs and traditionally procured infrastructure projects. However, accounting standards, political preferences for or against PPPs, and the strength of public sector unions also play, among others, a role in skewing incentives and affecting choice in some countries. The findings of the questionnaire are augmented by four case studies setting out the procurement processes for PPPs and traditional infrastructure procurement in France, Germany, Korea and the United Kingdom. With the focus on the attainment of value for money and by exploring the issues raised in the responses to the questionnaire, this article sets out some good practices that will align the requirements for these two types of procurement and remove possible perverse incentives that favour one over the other. JEL classification: H400, H440, H540, H570 Keywords: value for money, public-private partnerships, PPPs, traditional public procurement, infrastructure, public choice
15 jui 2011
Performance Budgeting in Poland
Poland currently has a traditional budget system that is primarily based on organisational units and control of inputs. But Poland is in the process of introducing a new budget system, the performance-based budgeting system, in order to improve public finance management and strengthen allocative and operational efficiency, multi-year budgeting, and transparency and accountability. Poland faces hard choices on how to harness the advantages of performance management while minimising the costs in terms of organisational capacity and funding. This article assesses the reform process to date, examines cross-cutting institutional, technical, and strategic issues, and provides a series of recommendations for each stage of the budget process: budget preparation, approval and execution, and reporting, accounting and audit. JEL classification: H500, H610, H830 Keywords: Poland, budget process, performance budgeting system, performance-based budget, PBB, public finance management, allocative efficiency, operational efficiency, multi-year budgeting, transparency, accountability
15 jui 2011
Reforming the Budgeting Process in China
Despite many reforms implemented in China’s public financial management over the past ten years, China’s public budget still exhibits a glaring lack of accountability, most evident in the gap between the adopted budget and the final budget. This article examines the role played by public budgeting in ensuring good governance, and establishes a framework for how the legislature ensures accountability in the public budgeting process. The existing problems in the Chinese public budgeting process are analysed, and suggestions are made for reforming the budgeting process based on the outlined framework.