Government at a Glance

2221-4399 (online)
2221-4380 (print)
Hide / Show Abstract

Published every two years, Government at a Glance provides indicators that compare the political and institutional frameworks of government across OECD countries.

Also available in French
Government at a Glance 2013

Government at a Glance 2013 You or your institution have access to this content

Click to Access:
  • PDF
  • READ
14 Nov 2013
9789264206496 (PDF) ;9789264201323(print)

Hide / Show Abstract

Government at a Glance 2013 provides readers with a dashboard of key indicators assembled with the goal of contributing to the analysis and international comparison of public sector performance. Indicators on government revenues, expenditures, and employment are provided alongside key output and outcome data in the sectors of education and health. Government at a Glance also includes indicators on key governance and public management issues, such as transparency in governance, regulatory governance, new ways in delivering public services and HRM and compensation practices in the public service. While measuring government performance has long been recognized as playing an important role in increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of the public administration, following the economic crisis and fiscal tightening in many member countries, good indicators are needed more than ever to help governments make informed decisions regarding tough choices and help restore confidence in government institutions.

loader image

Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Table of Contents

  • Mark Click to Access
  • Foreword

    The financial and economic crisis that started in 2008 and affected most OECD member countries has reopened the debate on the role of the state on how and where it should intervene to achieve which objectives. Government at a Glance 2013 provides key quantitative and qualitative data that can enable evidence-based decision making as well as help governments plan for the future. It allows for the comparison of government activities, practices and performance across a number of critical dimensions, and helps pinpoint areas that warrant further examination. In its policy chapter, the publication explores the links between trust in government and the policies and institutions of public governance.

  • Preface – Governance matters!

    The outlook for the global economy is improving gradually, but the world continues to grapple with the consequences of the global financial, economic and social crisis. Low growth, high government indebtedness, persistent unemployment and widening inequalities require strong corrective action. Governments are expected to put our economies back on a track of stronger, greener and more inclusive growth.

  • Executive summary

    The financial and economic crisis and its aftermath have led many OECD governments to implement structural adjustment plans to restore the health of their public finances. However, trust in governments has declined considerably, as citizens’ growing expectations have been hard to address with limited government resources. Between 2007 and 2012, confidence in national governments declined from 45% to 40% on average, making it difficult for national authorities to mobilise support for necessary reforms.

  • Reader's guide

    In order to accurately interpret the data included in Government at a Glance, readers need to be familiar with the following methodological considerations that cut across a number of indicators. As in previous editions, the standard format for the presentation of indicators is on two pages, except for a few indicators – such as indicators on the rule of law and on the quality of public services – that are presented on four pages. For the two‑page format, the first page contains text that explains the relevance of the topic and highlights some of the major differences observed across OECD countries. It is followed by a Methodology and definitions section, which describes the data sources and provides important information necessary to interpret the data. Closing the first page is the Further reading section, which lists useful background literature providing context to the data displayed. The second page showcases the data. These figures show current levels and, where possible, trends over time. A Glossary of the main definitions of the publication can be found in the final chapter of the book.

  • Introduction

    The recent economic crisis has highlighted the role of governments as major actors in modern societies. Governments are expected to set the conditions to generate economic growth that will increase the well-being of their citizens, regulate the behaviour of business and individuals in the name of the common good, redistribute income in order to promote fairness, and deliver public goods and services to their populations, while being faced with fiscal constraints and demographic pressures. The ability of governments to operate effectively and efficiently depends in part on their management policies and practices in diverse areas such as budgeting, human resources management, procurement, etc.

  • Trust in government, policy effectiveness and the governance agenda

    The statistical data for Israel are supplied by and under the responsibility of the relevant Israeli authorities. The use of such data by the OECD is without prejudice to the status of the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem and Israeli settlements in the West Bank under the terms of international law.

  • Add to Marked List
  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Strategic governance

    • Mark Click to Access
    • Trust in government

      Trust in government represents the confidence of citizens and businesses in the actions of government to do what is right and perceived as fair. It is one of the most important foundations upon which the legitimacy and sustainability of political systems are built. Trust in government is essential for social cohesion and well-being as it affects the government’s ability to govern and enables government to act without coercion. Consequently, it is necessary for the fair and effective functioning of public institutions.

    • Improving fairness through selected government policies

      One of the major tasks of government is to level the playing field for citizens by ensuring fairness in both the processes it follows – procedural justice – and the results it achieves – distributive justice. A key element of the latter is to allow income differences to exist to the extent that they acknowledge and reward performance, accepting individuals’ differential contributions to economic and social well-being. At the same time, governments should seek to minimise economic and social harm that can arise from inequality and take into account the societal consensus. These twin objectives lead to reduced income inequalities through progressive taxation and the use of cash transfers (e.g. pensions, unemployment insurance).

    • Rule of law

      Rule of law means that no one, including government is above the law, where laws protect fundamental rights, and justice is accessible to all. It implies a set of common standards for action, which are defined by law and enforced in practice through procedures and accountability mechanisms for reliability, predictability and administration through law. Rule of law has been considered as one of the key dimensions that determine the quality and good governance of a country.

    • Risk management

      OECD member countries have been significantly affected by disruptive shocks events over the past decades, with increasing economic impacts.

    • Fiscal sustainability

      Fiscal sustainability is the ability of a government to maintain public finances at a credible and serviceable position over the long term. Ensuring long-term fiscal sustainability requires that governments engage in continual strategic forecasting of future revenues and liabilities, environmental factors and socio-economic trends in order to adapt financial planning accordingly. High and increasing debt levels are harmful to governments’ fiscal positions and can cause a vicious cycle of growing debt, reducing the potential for economic growth as funds are diverted away from productive investments. Many OECD member countries continue to face rising public debt-to-GDP ratios since the financial and economic crisis. The costs associated with addressing the current economic slowdown, as well as projected increases in ageing-related spending, present serious challenges for the sustainability of public finances.

    • Public sector efficiency

      Estimating efficiency concerns the assessment of the relationship between inputs invested and outputs produced with those resources. The improvement of this measure as a way of controlling expenditures is a key objective of OECD governments. The fiscal crises faced by many countries both before and after the great economic and financial recession put public sector performance at the forefront.

    • Public sector cost-effectiveness

      Whereas the concept of efficiency measures performance in terms of whether resources invested are productively transformed into the desired output, the concept of effectiveness measures the extent to which an activity attains its desired objectives. Cost-effectiveness, i.e. the ratio of an input to an intermediate or final outcome, reflects the relationship between resources expended and results achieved and is critical for the evaluation of the success of government policies.

    • Add to Marked List
  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Public finance and economics

    • Mark Click to Access
    • General government fiscal balance

      The fiscal balance is the difference between government revenues and expenditures. A fiscal deficit occurs when, in a given year, a government spends more than it receives in revenues. On the other hand, a government will run a surplus when revenues exceed expenditures. Consecutive large fiscal deficits are strongly detrimental to the sustainability of public finances as they are financed by additional debt. When the level of outstanding debt is high, the cost of servicing that debt (both in absolute interest payments and in higher interest rates) pushes a country further into deficit, thereby hindering fiscal sustainability. Governments can reduce future debt servicing costs by improving the primary balance, which equals the fiscal balance net of interest payments.

    • General government debt

      When expenditures exceed revenues, governments need additional resources to finance their deficits, consequently they borrow money and increase the level of public debt. Changes in debt over time reflect the behaviour of past fiscal balances; recurring large deficits will result in higher debt levels. On the contrary, a succession of surpluses will reduce debt levels. In general, the higher a government’s liabilities, the higher the perceived probability by markets of a government defaulting on loans and therefore the higher risk premium required by the market, which in turn, raises the cost of debt.

    • Fiscal balance and debt by level of government

      Central governments share different degrees of sovereignty with sub-central governments. As a consequence those sub‑central governments may encounter diverse fiscal situations. Different political systems are characterised by varying degrees of autonomy at state and local levels to incur debt; sub-national governments are usually subject to tight fiscal rules, and, in particular, their capacity to incur debt is often limited. Liabilities from sub-national governments resulting from the need to finance deficits through borrowing are considered as debt of the sub-national governments. Even modest increases in debt by a large number of government entities (e.g. states or municipalities) may increase general government debt (across all levels of government), thereby affecting budget balances and potentially interest rates on public debt.

    • General government revenues

      Governments collect revenues mainly for two purposes: to finance the goods and services they deliver to citizens and businesses and to fulfil their redistributive role. Major sources of revenues of governments are taxes collected from households and corporations as well as social contributions. Comparing levels of government revenues across OECD member countries, as a share of GDP or per capita, provides an indication of the importance of the public sector in the economy in terms of available financial resources. The total amount of revenues collected by governments is determined by past and current political decisions that are themselves based on cultural expectations for social redistribution, fiscal constraints and economic fluctuations and performance. As such, levels of government revenues strongly differ across OECD member countries.

    • Structure of general government revenues

      Analysing the structure of general government revenues provides an indication of the relative contributions from citizens and/or sectors of the economy to finance government expenditures.

    • Revenue structure by level of government

      Government revenues are collected differently across levels of government, as the central, state and local levels hold different abilities to levy taxes and collect social contributions. The extent to which revenues are transferred between levels provides an indication of the financial interdependence among levels of government. The amount of taxes collected by sub-central governments can be considered a proxy for their fiscal autonomy.

    • General government expenditures

      Governments spend money mainly for two purposes: to produce and/or pay for the goods and services delivered to citizens and businesses and to redistribute income. Comparing government expenditures across OECD member countries, as a share of GDP or per capita, provides a measure of the size of the government sector in the economy in terms of financial resources spent. Similarly to government revenues, government expenditures are determined by past and current political decisions that are themselves based on cultural expectations for social redistribution and levels of goods and services to be provided, fiscal constraints, and economic fluctuations and performance. Levels of government expenditures therefore strongly differ across OECD member countries. It is important to note that the size of expenditures is not an indication of government efficiency or productivity.

    • Structure of general government expenditures (by COFOG function)

      Governments spend money on a broad array of goods and services, from providing childcare to building bridges or subsidising alternative energy sources. International commitments to mutual policy goals can also influence the structure of expenditures; such is the case with OECD-EU member countries and their common goals towards economic growth, agriculture, energy, infrastructure, and research and development, among others.

    • Expenditures structure by level of government

      Different levels of government share the responsibility for financing public goods and services and redistributing income. The degree to which each level is responsible for expenditures is affected by the institutional structure in each country and the distribution of spending power across levels of governments. When sub-central levels have a higher level of autonomy they might be better suited for shaping policies and programmes.

    • Government investment spending

      One of the main reasons for government investments is the promotion of economic growth; this is achieved, among other ways, through the financing of public infrastructure projects (roads, housing, schools, hospitals and communication networks). Moreover, some projects with desired social returns (public goods) are not profitable for the private sector and thus are developed by the public sector. Public direct investment can be used by governments for countercyclical policy objectives. For instance, as a result of the recent economic downturn, many OECD governments introduced stimulus plans through an increase in investments in soft and hard infrastructures.

    • Production costs and outsourcing of general government

      Production costs are the share of government expenditures dedicated to the production of goods and services. While some governments produce most goods and services themselves, others outsource a large portion of the production to non-profit or private entities. There are two ways by which outsourcing can take place. Governments can either purchase goods and services to be used as inputs (goods and services used by government, i.e. intermediate consumption), or they can pay a non-profit or private institution to provide the goods and services directly to the end user (goods and services financed by government, i.e. social transfers in kind via market producers).

    • Special feature: Central government ICT spending

      Central government ICT spending is the share of total central government budgets dedicated to ICTs (e.g. investments in hardware and software, running costs of IT infrastructures, salaries for ICT specialists and training). Governments look to the use of technology, and especially the Internet, as a lever for more efficient internal operations, greater public service quality, and better and more open policy making.

    • Add to Marked List
  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Budgeting practices and procedures

    • Mark Click to Access
    • Fiscal rules

      A fiscal rule is a long-term constraint on fiscal policy through numerical limits on the budgetary aggregates. Without overall limits, incremental budgeting can become an open-ended process in which governments accommodate demands by spending more than they have. A fiscal rule has two fundamental characteristics. First, it presents a constraint that binds political decisions made by the legislature and by the executive. And second, it serves as a concrete indicator of the executive’s fiscal management. While fiscal rules can help governments to achieve fiscal objectives and discipline, there is no one‑size-fits‑all rule for every country.

    • Medium-term expenditure frameworks

      Medium-term expenditure frameworks (MTEFs) help central/federal government organisations to adopt a medium term budgetary perspective rather than solely an annual one. MTEFs typically span a period of three to five years, including the budgeted fiscal year, and combine prescriptive yearly ceilings with descriptive forward estimates.

    • Executive budget flexibility

      A feature of budget reforms in many OECD countries is the relaxing of input controls by the central budget authority to give government organisations greater flexibility and autonomy to achieve their objectives efficiently and effectively. It is based upon the premise that heads of individual government organisations are the best positioned to achieve their policy and programme objectives (let managers manage). Moreover, even with a sound budget formulation process, economic assumptions can change, input prices can fluctuate and evolving political priorities can call for the reallocation of budgeted resources. Greater flexibility for line managers permits them to adjust spending according to such changing conditions.

    • Performance budgeting

      Governments are increasingly incorporating performance information in the budgeting and governance processes as a means of achieving better results, promoting greater value for money, and increasing the transparency of spending decisions. Good performance information can contribute to better decisions regarding the use of resources and how to run particular programmes. Greater transparency of performance and resource allocation also increases the accountability of government agencies for their expenditures.

    • Public-private partnerships

      Public-private partnerships (PPPs) are long-term contractual agreements between the government and a private partner whereby the latter typically finances and delivers public services using a capital asset (e.g. transport or energy infrastructure, hospital or school buildings). The private party may be tasked with the design, construction, financing, operation, management and delivery of the service for a pre-determined period of time, receiving its compensation from fixed unitary payments or tolls charged to users. PPPs account for less than 15% of annual capital central government expenditure, and there is a great variation across countries in the extent to which PPPs are used: the United Kingdom has the most projects (648), followed by Korea (567) and Australia (127).

    • Independent fiscal institutions

      In the mid-1990s, academic economists floated the idea that countries could adapt some of the good experiences of independent central banking to the fiscal sphere. However, it was only after the surge of government deficits and debts following the recent crisis that a growing number of countries decided to create independent fiscal institutions (IFIs, typically referred to as fiscal councils or parliamentary budget offices) in a growing number of OECD member countries.

    • Add to Marked List
  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Public sector employment and pay

    • Mark Click to Access
    • Employment in general government and public corporations

      Individual governments choose what public services to deliver and how to deliver them. Some countries use more public employees than others to provide services: teachers, health care providers, security and emergency workers and government administrators, for instance, are considered civil servants in many member countries and deliver important services. Other countries, however, make greater use of the private and non-profit sectors. The proportion of the labour force working for the government reflects this choice and is one factor in determining the ultimate cost of service delivery to tax‑payers. The relative size of government employment can also have an effect on the labour market, with potential to impact the productivity of the economy.

    • General government employment across levels of government

      The proportion of staff employed at sub-central levels of government is an indicator of the level of decentralisation of public administrations. In general, larger shares of government employees at the sub-central level indicate that more responsibilities are delegated to regional and local governments for providing public services. Although decentralisation can increase the responsiveness of government to local needs and priorities, it can also result in variations in service delivery within countries.

    • Compensation of senior managers

      The level of total compensation for senior managers in the public sector is one indicator of the attractiveness of the public sector and of its ability to keep talent for positions with high levels of responsibility in government. Compensation in these positions represents a minimal share of public expenditures, but holds symbolic value as it concerns staff who have a leading role in government policy making and execution and whose appointment is often discretionary.

    • Compensation of middle managers

      Middle managers are located between senior management and professionals in the central government workforce hierarchy. Hence they have a key intermediate position to implement human resource management reforms and to interact and build trust and social dialogue with all public employees.

    • Compensation of professionals in central government

      Economists’ and policy analysts’ analytical skills are crucial for improving the government ability to take decisions based on evidence. Professionals do not have managerial responsibilities (beyond managing maximum three staff) and are above the ranks of administrative/secretarial staff (see for details). Data are presented for senior and junior professionals.

    • Compensation of secretarial staff

      Among the different central government occupations, the remuneration of staff in secretarial positions seems to vary the least across OECD member countries. On average, secretaries’ compensation amounts to around USD 50 000 PPP, including almost USD 8 600 PPP employers’ contributions and USD 8 500 PPP for working time correction. By consequence, gross wages reached 66% of total compensation. To account for the total amount of contributions to social security systems, one should add employees’ social contributions that are included in the gross wage. As for other occupations, the structure of total remuneration between wages and employers’ social contributions varies across countries. Those differences are linked to historical, cultural and political consensus on how to fund the social security system. Senior managers in D1 positions earn on average 4.6 times more than secretaries. This difference is the most significant in Italy, Australia and the United Kingdom, and the lowest in Iceland, the Slovak Republic and Spain.

    • Compensation in selected service occupations

      Central government employees in service occupations work on the front line interacting with users of public services. Data are included for occupations related to law and order and tax administration: police inspectors and detectives (called police inspectors), police officers, immigration officers, customs inspectors and tax inspectors. Though all countries have employees in charge of these tasks, some of these functions are also carried out by sub‑central governments. In some countries specific functions (immigration or tax) cannot be distinguished.

    • Teachers' salaries

      Teachers are the backbone of the education sector which is a crucial determinant of productivity and growth. Teachers’ salaries represent the largest single cost item in the labour-intensive education system. Salaries and working conditions play an important role in attracting, motivating and retaining skilled teachers.

    • Add to Marked List
  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Women in government

    • Mark Click to Access
    • Women in general government employment

      The share of women in government employment is an important indicator of openness and fairness in public institutions. As governments continue to strengthen fundamental public service values such as merit and transparency, they are increasingly recognising the importance of diversity measures, including gender representation. Moreover, creating a public sector that is representative of the population it serves contributes to improving the quality of public policies and responsiveness of services by fostering a better understanding of citizens’ needs. It is also good practice in terms of boosting public sector productivity, by ensuring the government makes the best use of the available talent pool. Finally, promoting greater participation of women in the government workforce can be a means of enhancing social mobility.

    • Women in central government employment

      Central government employment represents a subset of overall general government employment and includes a range of professional, managerial and secretarial positions in central government ministries or departments. The representation of women in central government, including senior administrative positions is therefore an important indicator of the role women play in policy making and implementation in OECD member countries.

    • Women in senior administrative positions in central government

      Despite the growing share of women employed in central governments (see also ), women remain underrepresented in senior administrative or leadership positions. The gender imbalance found in senior levels of central government limits the role of women in the decision-making process, adversely impacting the fairness of public policies and laws. One key illustration of this is gender representation in the legal system, which is vital for upholding equal rights and eliminating gender-based discrimination in judicial rulings.

    • Women in politics

      Women’s representation in politics is important not only in terms of ensuring gender equality in the political process, but also for bringing attention to important socio-economic issues such as human development, gender-based violence, family-friendly policies, equal pay, pensions, electoral reform and the delivery of services. Yet women still face a glass ceiling blocking their full participation in political life in the legislature and political executive, and remain generally underrepresented in politics.

    • Add to Marked List
  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Public procurement

    • Mark Click to Access
    • Public procurement spending

      Public procurement is the purchase by governments and state-owned enterprises of goods, services and works. It accounts for a significant amount of total general government expenditure. In 2011, on average, general government procurement spending represented 29% of total general government expenditures (or 13% of GDP).

    • Innovative tools in public procurement

      Driven by the imperative to increase productivity in times of austerity, many OECD member countries are investing in innovative tools to streamline procurement procedures and achieve greater value for money from procurement spending. In particular, these tools include the increased use of e‑procurement platforms, framework agreements, pre‑qualification systems, electronic reverse auctions and contracts with options.

    • Strategic public procurement

      OECD member countries are no longer considering value for money in the strict sense of price and quality as the sole objective of public procurement. They are gradually including more strategic objectives such as support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), innovation, and environmental considerations.

    • Fair competition in public procurement and SMEs

      Ensuring a level playing field for potential suppliers to gain access to government contracts remains a major hurdle, especially at the international level. Cross-border procurement in an integrated market like the European Union represents less than 4% of the total value of contract awarded.

    • Add to Marked List
  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Open and inclusive government

    • Mark Click to Access
    • Open government data

      Public organisations produce and collect a broad range of data in order to perform their tasks. Sharing these data with the public leads to greater transparency and increases public awareness of government activities. Open government data (OGD) can also help generate insights on how to improve government performance and hold governments accountable. OGD provide also the basis for meaningful public participation and collaboration in the creation of innovative, responsive and value-added services and policies, and are ultimately expected to improve the decision making of both governments and individuals. The public shall be able to use government data for making more informed decisions that could increase the quality of their lives; while governments are expected to more easily access a wider range of datasets to foster evidence-based decision making. Finally, OGD are seen as a potential source of economic growth, and as a basis for new forms of entrepreneurships and social innovation.

    • Conflict of interest and asset disclosure

      Growing expectations of open and fair public decision making, particularly following the financial and economic crisis, have put mounting pressure on governments to ensure that official decisions are not improperly affected by private interests. At the same time, new forms of partnership between governments and the private and non-profit sectors increase the complexity for policy makers and public managers in ensuring integrity of these transactions. Safeguarding the integrity of government decision making is therefore essential for restoring trust in government.

    • Budget transparency

      The national budget is one of the principal policy documents of government, reflecting its policy objectives and spending priorities. Budget transparency – the disclosure and accessibility of key fiscal and budgetary information – is therefore at the core of good governance. The economic and social crisis underscored the need for greater budget transparency, and it has become a core component of countries’ strategies for open government. The OECD Best Practices for Budget Transparency explicitly recognise the importance of disclosing government budgetary information in a timely and systematic manner, as well as the need to ensure the quality, integrity and, very importantly, the accessibility of this information in order to inform citizens and the legislature and hold government accountable.

    • Inclusive policy making

      Open and inclusive policy making is transparent, evidence-driven, accessible and responsive to as wide a range of citizens as possible. It strives to include a diverse number of voices and views in the policy-making process, including traditional cultures. To be successful, these elements must be applied at all stages of the design and delivery of public policies and services. While inclusive policy making enhances transparency, accountability and public participation and builds civic capacity, it also offers a way for governments to improve their policy performance by working with citizens, civil society organizations (CSOs), businesses and other stakeholders to deliver concrete improvements in policy outcomes and the quality of public services.

    • Add to Marked List
  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Special feature – Serving citizens: Accessibility and quality of public services

    • Mark Click to Access
    • Access to public services: Affordability

      The impact of basic public goods and services like education, health care and justice on citizens’ lives depends significantly on the extent to which intended recipients are able to access and consume them. The accessibility of public services can be considered a performance criterion for governments, reflecting their capacities to accurately recognise the diversity and nature of different needs, create and tailor delivery and communication channels accordingly, and ensure equity and fairness in delivery and distribution.

    • Uptake of online public services

      Citizens and businesses increasingly prefer and use digital channels to interact with governments and access public services. Online channels can facilitate access to a wider range of users and provide greater convenience, while also reducing costs for all involved, including governments. While in general the adoption of online channels is growing, several kinds of gaps in the uptake remain in many OECD member countries, where usage of online services remains more limited. Governments must continue to work on reducing such disparities while still developing their online service supply.

    • Responsiveness of public services: Timeliness

      Responsive public goods and services explicitly recognise and adapt to the heterogeneity of citizens’ needs. Rather than adopting a one size fits all approach, responsive service providers implement strategies that segment customer bases, as well as establish mechanisms that proactively seek and take into account citizens’ feedback or complaints. In addition, responsive public goods and services seek to be reactive to needs, responding as quickly as possible and minimising delays. Timeliness of service delivery therefore stands out as a responsiveness indicator that particularly affects citizens’ confidence in the ability of public services to meet their needs.

    • Reliability of public services: Ensuring citizens' rights

      In any democratic society citizens will have a number of basic rights as well as obligations in relation to their government and its agencies. While measuring users’ satisfaction with public sector goods and services is considered to be an important indicator to evaluate performance of service delivery in OECD countries, few measures have been consensually developed on the extent to which governments design their institutional framework to allow citizens’ rights to be acknowledged and heard. Such a framework helps to ensure the reliability of public services by informing citizens of their rights and by providing them with channels of redress and quality assurance. Statements of citizens’ rights might also promulgate basic service and process standards, e.g. the Citizens’ Charter that existed in the United Kingdom.

    • Citizen satisfaction with public services

      Measuring users’ satisfaction with public goods and services is at the heart of a citizen-centric approach to service delivery and an important component of organisational performance strategies for continual improvement. Perception data are commonly used to evaluate citizens’ experiences with government organisations and obtain their views on the outputs received. Such information can help public managers identify which elements of service delivery drive satisfaction, as well as monitor the impact of reforms on end-users. Measuring citizen satisfaction is also a means of allowing policy makers and managers to better understand their customer base, helping to identify sub‑groups of users and needs or gaps in accessibility. Moreover, citizen satisfaction can be an important outcome indicator of overall government performance.

    • Add to Marked List
  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Annexes

    • Mark Click to Access
    • Methodology for revenue aggregates

      The following table provides detailed information about how the aggregates of taxes, social contributions, and grants and other revenues presented in Public finance and economics were constructed from the OECD National Accounts data.

    • Classification of the Functions of Government (COFOG)

      Developed by the OECD, the Classification of the Functions of Government (COFOG) classifies government expenditure data from the System of National Accounts by the purpose for which the funds are used. As illustrates, first-level COFOG splits expenditure data into ten functional groups or sub-sectors of expenditures (such as defence, education and social protection), and second-level COFOG further splits each first-level group into up to nine sub-groups. While first-level COFOG data are available for 32 out of the 34 OECD member countries, second-level COFOG data are currently only available for 21 OECD European member countries plus Japan.First-level COFOG data are not available for Chile and Mexico. Until recently, second level COFOG data were available in some national statistical offices, but were not collected by international organisations. Moreover, the second-level COFOG data were not comparable among countries because the SNA/UN guide and the International Monetary Fund Manual on Government Finance Statistics do not provide much practical information on the application of COFOG concepts. However, in 2005, Eurostat established a task force to develop a manual on the application of COFOG to national account expenditure data and to discuss the collection of second-level COFOG data for European countries. Second-level COFOG data are not available for Switzerland and all non‑European member countries of the OECD (except Japan): Australia, Canada, Chile, Israel, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand and the United States. In addition, these data are available only for selected COFOG divisions in some members of the EU. Efforts are underway to reach agreement with these countries about the submission of these data to the OECD.

    • Composite indexes budget practices

      This edition of Government at a Glance includes two composite indexes related to budgetary practices: the use of a medium-term perspective in the budget process and the use of a performance budgeting system. Data used for the construction of the composites are derived from the 2012 OECD Survey on Budgeting Practices and Procedures and the 2011 OECD Survey on Performance Budgeting. Survey respondents were predominantly senior officials in the Ministry of Finance.

    • Methodology and additional notes on compensation of government employees

      The statistical data for Israel are supplied by and under the responsibility of the relevant Israeli authorities. The use of such data by the OECD is without prejudice to the status of the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem and Israeli settlements in the West Bank under the terms of international law.

    • Detailed data on conflict-of-interest disclosure

      The statistical data for Israel are supplied by and under the responsibility of the relevant Israeli authorities. The use of such data by the OECD is without prejudice to the status of the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem and Israeli settlements in the West Bank under the terms of international law.

    • Members of the Steering Group
    • Glossary
    • Add to Marked List
Visit the OECD web site