Government at a Glance: Latin America and the Caribbean 2017

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Author(s):
OECD
06 Dec 2016
Pages:
200
ISBN:
9789264265561 (EPUB) ; 9789264265554 (PDF) ;9789264265547(print)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264265554-en

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This second edition of Government at a Glance: Latin America and the Caribbean provides the latest available data on public administrations in the LAC region and compares it to OECD countries. It contains new indicators on public finances, centres of government, regulatory governance, open government, digital government and public procurement. This edition also includes a special feature on health budgeting.

After a decade of sustained economic growth reinforced by high commodity prices, economic conditions are deteriorating in the LAC region. In this context, LAC governments are expected to design and deliver more inclusive, transparent  and efficient policies. This report provides policy makers with performance measurements and offers comparative perspective. Good indicators are needed more than ever to help governments make informed decisions and tough choices, in order to  maintain progress and improvements in the region.

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Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Table of Contents

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  • Foreword

    This second edition of Government at a Glance: Latin America and the Caribbean 2017, provides internationally comparable data on government activities and their results for the LAC region. By showcasing a dashboard of key indicators it is aimed at helping policy makers and citizens analyze the relative performance of governments and, when possible, benchmark against OECD member countries. The 45 indicators cover key aspects of public management, including public finance and economics, public employment, the role and influence of the centre of government, regulatory policy and governance, open and digital government and public procurement.

  • Preface

    Over the past two decades several countries in the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region have made great strides to reform their economies and improve the performance of their public sectors. As shown in the first edition of Government at a Glance: Latin America and the Caribbean, these reforms contributed to strengthening public institutions and laying the policy foundations for more egalitarian societies. In order to sustain inclusive growth, LAC countries need to build on past achievements and continue to implement policy reforms.

  • Executive summary

    Inequalities pose a critical challenge for government. Not only do they harm economic growth and create social distress, but they also hamper access to opportunities and basic public services. Government plays an important role, not only through taxes and transfers, but also by designing and implementing public policies that tackle inequalities in the distribution of income and other outcomes that affect people’s well-being.

  • Reader's guide

    In order to accurately interpret the data included in Government at a Glance: Latin America and the Caribbean 2017, readers need to be familiar with the following methodological considerations that cut across a number of indicators. The standard format for the presentation of indicators is on two pages. The first page contains text that explains the relevance of the topic and highlights some of the major differences observed across LAC countries. Furthermore, when data are comparable, the OECD averages are considered as an additional benchmark. 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 terms used in the publication can be found in the final chapter of the book.

  • Introduction

    The main objective of the Government at a Glance series is to provide reliable, internationally comparable data on government activities and their results in OECD member countries. By broadening the scope to other regions of the world, in particular to Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), the publication allows LAC countries to benchmark their governments’ performance within the region and in relation to the OECD. In addition, it allows governments to track their own and international developments over time, and provides evidence to their public policy making. As a result of the successful cooperation between the OECD and the IDB this second edition for the LAC region covers a broader set of topics and includes more countries.

  • The impact of fiscal policy on equity

    Inequality pose a critical challenge for government. In a broad sense, rising inequalities can not only harm economic growth and create social distress, but can also negatively affect access to opportunities and basic public services. To a greater or lesser extent, depending on the societal agreement, governments play a role in income redistribution through taxes and transfers. In this context, the efficiency and effectiveness of fiscal policy are essential to achieve more equal societies and fight poverty. In the case of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) this is particularly relevant as, despite recent improvements, the region is still the most unequal in the world. According to the latest available evidence, on average in 2012, inequality in LAC measured by the Gini coefficient after taxes and transfers is 70% higher than in OECD member countries, with scores of 0.49 and 0.29, respectively (see ).

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Public finance and economics

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    • General government fiscal and structural balance

      The fiscal balance is the difference between government revenues and spending. This balance could be negative, resulting in a deficit, or positive, resulting in a surplus. Consecutive large fiscal deficits are strongly detrimental to the sustainability of public finances. When the level of outstanding debt is high, the cost of servicing that debt (interest payments) can push a country further into deficit, thereby hindering fiscal sustainability. Conversely, improvements in the fiscal balance over time signal good fiscal health. Improvements result from a combination of the following factors: political commitment to fiscal discipline, sound institutional arrangements for budgeting and/or favourable performance of the economy.

    • General government debt

      Government debt represents governments’ outstanding liabilities stemming from the need to finance deficits through borrowing. Fluctuations of the exchange and interest rates can have a strong effect on government debt when it has a relevant foreign currency component, creating external vulnerability. Historically, LAC countries have been sensitive to fluctuations in external conditions resulting in high volatility of public finances. Thus, many countries have experienced low credibility about their fiscal policy, affecting their ability to obtain long-term credit at low premiums. However, in recent years some countries such as Chile, Colombia and Mexico established fiscal rules and stabilisation funds, which together with a recomposition from external to internal debt and prudent fiscal policy resulted in enhanced conditions to access debt markets.

    • General government revenues

      Revenues raised by governments are used to finance the provision of goods and services to citizens and businesses and carry out a redistributive role. The two main sources of government revenues are taxes and social contributions. The amount of revenues raised by governments is determined by multiple factors such as government policies, political institutions, the stage of economic and social development, the endowment of non-renewable natural resources, and macroeconomic conditions. While for a certain period of time, additional revenue requirements could be financed by acquiring debt, in the long run, revenues and expenditures should be balanced to guarantee the sustainability of public finances.

    • General government tax revenues

      The capacity to tax their citizens is one of governments’ core attributes. Revenues collected from taxes represent the most important source of public funds and are crucial to provide public goods and services, guarantee government operations, undertake public investments and a higher or lower degree of income redistribution. As a general trend, during the last two decades, LAC countries increased their tax collection, strengthened tax administrations and attempted to curb tax evasion (OECD/ECLAC/CIAT/IDB 2016).

    • Special Feature: Fiscal revenues from non-renewable natural resources

      Revenues from non-renewable natural resources (NRNR) represent a key source of income for many LAC countries. Between 2000 and 2013, the region experienced a commodity boom that resulted from high international commodity prices, increasing significantly the fiscal resources available. During the boom period, a few countries had established reserve funds and put in place stabilisation mechanisms aimed at counterbalancing possible price plunges from commodities and guaranteeing inter-generational equity. However, in 2014 the trend reverted and a decline in tax and non-tax revenues from NRNR occurred in the region. The negative effects of declining commodity prices on government revenues across the majority of LAC countries have been acute, adding pressure on the sustainability of public finances.

    • General government expenditures

      Governments spend money to provide goods and services, redistribute income and pursue economic development objectives. The amount of financial resources spent by governments provides an indication of the size of the public sector. Nevertheless, the size of government does not necessarily reflect its performance. Although government expenditures are usually less elastic than government revenues, they are also sensitive to economic developments associated with macroeconomic conditions and the business cycle. They also reflect past and current political decisions.

    • Revenues and expenditures structure by levels of government

      Different levels of government share responsibility for providing public goods and services. Central and sub-central governments (state and local) also vary in terms of their ability to levy taxes and collect social contributions. These differences could be explained by historical, economic, institutional and political factors. Commonly, sub-central governments are responsible for the provision of services and could be considered better equipped than central governments to obtain information on local needs and better placed to tailor public services accordingly.

    • General government expenditures by economic transaction

      The composition of government expenditures by transaction provides an indication of policy priorities, the type of service delivery model (e.g. focus on direct provision or focus on outsourcing) and the size of financial commitments resulting from public debt, among others. In addition, the expenditures breakdown reveals information on the importance of the government’s role in redistributing income compared to simply guaranteeing that public services are provided.

    • Government investment spending

      Government investment creates public infrastructure essential for long-term economic growth and societal well-being. For instance, public investment supports the provision of public services (e.g. schools). Further, governments invest in transport infrastructure, and other large-scale projects to improve productivity and competitiveness. Finally, governments can also invest in research and development to promote new technologies or products.

    • Special feature: Key features of cost-benefit analysis

      Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) aims to inform decision makers on the economic feasibility of projects, programmes, policies or regulatory initiatives. Its main purpose is to compare the costs associated with a policy or investment with the benefits of its implementation. The focus of this section is on CBA as a tool for the evaluation of investment projects. The content and methodology of CBA varies across countries. Nonetheless, a standard structure in the LAC region may consist of a description of the socio-economic and political context, definition of objectives, identification of the project, technical feasibility, environmental sustainability, financial analysis, economic analysis and risk assessment.

    • Special feature: objectives and sectoral use of cost-benefit analysis

      Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is a methodology for calculating all social benefits and all social costs of an investment project. It determines the viability of an investment and can provide a basis for the comparison of alternative projects before spending public money. In essence, CBA consists of comparing the expected cost of a project against its expected benefits, in order to determine whether benefits exceed costs and hence decide if the investment is convenient for society and leads to an efficient allocation of resources. In CBA, benefits and costs are expressed in monetary terms, and are adjusted for the time value of money; therefore expressed in terms of their net present value (NPV). The most important application of cost-benefit analysis has been to decide upon public investment projects, thought it has also been used in other areas such as the evaluation of regulatory initiatives, called Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA).

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Public employment

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    • Employment in the public sector

      Government cannot operate without employees. These employees might be policy advisers, health and safety officers, teachers, doctors, police officers or scientists, just to mention a few public sector occupations. Their wages and benefits have direct influence on public sector production costs and provide a proxy of the size of government in the economy. Furthermore, the share of people working for the public sector provides an indication of how public services are delivered in a given country (direct provision vs outsourcing).

    • Women in public sector employment

      Gender equality is increasingly considered as a key policy priority in the LAC region. As a result, many governments have put forward initiatives aimed at achieving gender equality in their workforce. Achieving gender equality in the public sector is not only an issue of fairness but a means of maximising the use of talent and ensuring that policies reflect the different perspectives existing in the society. In addition, striving for a numerical balance between men and women in the various occupations and by job levels, including managerial positions is also very important. A concrete example of a mechanism that could be used to improve gender balance within the public sector is gender diversity targets.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Institutions (Centres of government)

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    • Decision making of government

      The centre of government (CoG) refers to the organisations and units that provide direct support to the head of government (president or prime minister) and perform certain key cross-cutting functions. These functions include the strategic management of the government’s priority goals (working with the relevant policy sectors to define targets and the strategies to achieve them, as well as aligning the budget with the priorities), coordinating the ministries and agencies that contribute to those goals, monitoring the implementation of priority programmes and removing obstacles when performance is lagging; managing the politics to enable the approval and implementation of those programmes, and communicating results to the public. The relevance of the CoG has increased in recent years due to a number of factors, such as the rise of multidimensional issues (e.g. competitiveness, inequality, crime) that require whole-of-government responses, the growing demand of citizens for better results in service delivery, and the need to ensure coherent policies in governments that have expanded their scope of activities and operate in a frantic 24/7 news cycle.

    • Policy coordination

      Inter-ministerial coordination is one of the key CoG functions. It is critical to ensure whole-of-government responses to cross-cutting issues, and to minimise unintended duplications or contradictions in government policy. The CoG can be an honest broker between line ministries that have their own sectoral agendas and bureaucratic cultures, aligning them behind a coherent government direction. Moreover, the rise of complex and multidimensional issues, which cannot be addressed solely by vertical ministerial responses, has highlighted the importance of central steering and co-ordination.

    • Strategic management and monitoring

      In addition to policy coordination, CoGs are also responsible for the strategic management and monitoring of the government’s top priority goals. During the planning phase, this includes working with the relevant line ministries to set specific targets and actionable implementation strategies to achieve them, as well as aligning budget resources behind the strategies. During implementation, this includes monitoring progress and assisting the sectors in unblocking obstacles to enable effective performance. In recent years, a systematic approach to delivery (which some have conceptualised as deliverology) has been adopted worldwide in several CoG institutions at both national and subnational levels of government. This emphasis on delivery has reportedly improved the achievement of priority goals in a number of cases, highlighting the valuable role that CoG units can play in this regard.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Budget practices and procedures

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    • Structure and responsibilities of the central budget authority (CBA)

      The central budget authority (CBA) is the office in charge of leading the budget process and therefore has the capacity to influence institutional arrangements for budgeting. By steering the budget process, the CBA can contribute to achieve a well-structured budget that, in turn, can give strategic direction and cohesion to the public sector.

    • Executive budget negotiations and off-budget expenditures

      Formulating the budget implies consultation and negotiation with line ministries and other spending units. One of the main objectives of the central budget authority is to consolidate a budget proposal that reflects policy priorities and takes into account the spending trajectory and existing financial commitments. Commonly, as means of enforcing fiscal discipline and signalling policy priorities, expenditure ceilings are set on spending units’ initial requests. In the course of the process to set the budgetary ceilings, disagreements between the CBA and line ministries about resource allocation can arise. Such controversies require resolution by a third party with the authority to decide on budgetary matters and the capacity to balance budgetary interests.

    • Budget approval

      The budget process generally consists of four stages. The first stage entails the formulation of the executive’s budget proposal; the second stage involves the parliamentary discussion of the proposal and approval of the budget law. In the third stage, the proposal is implemented, and in the fourth stage, the execution of the budget is evaluated.

    • Long-term fiscal projections

      One of the main objectives of governments should be the sustainability of public finances. Policies and specific programmes have implications that transcend the budget year. When these aspects are not taken into account, public finances and the success of policies can be negatively affected (programmes are started but their long-term financing needs may not be secured). Additionally, societies are confronted with long term socio-economic challenges that could affect economic conditions in the future. Fiscal projections can help identify the probable future expenses in light of forecasted demographic and economic developments, and can contribute to the political discussion of a broader reform agenda.

    • Complementary budgets and reserve funds

      Several reasons exist for the adoption of complementary budgets. These include the implementation of new policies, unforeseen changes in the economic conditions, natural disasters, emergencies, unexpected legal obligations and reallocation of funds. However, frequent use of complementary budgets may reflect poor budget preparation procedures, inappropriate costing of programmes or governmental failure to adhere to announced budgetary policies.

    • Special feature: Health financing systems and budget formulation for health

      One of the key characteristics of health systems in LAC countries is their fragmentation, both in terms of service delivery, and in terms of financing. Most countries in LAC have at least two and up to four different health financing schemes. Some countries rely more on a public system funded through government budget revenues, while others depend on social or mandatory health insurance schemes with private or public administrators. Voluntary private insurers also have a strong presence in the region, but the population covered through this system is very small and generally has high income levels.

    • Special feature: Monitoring and execution of health spending

      Improving the capacity of national health authorities to engage more effectively with national budgetary authorities is essential to make progress on critical issues about the level of funds to be provided, the quality and efficiency of health public spending and the flexibility with which such funds can be used – while concurrently ensuring accountability for the use of these funds. Efficiency in health expenditure requires good practices during the entire budget cycle: effective allocation mechanisms during budget formulation phase, good operational management practices, coordination mechanisms, measuring and evaluating results, and reporting and monitoring tools are essential to ensure that resources are spent in an efficient way, and following the lines mapped in the initial budget.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Human resources management

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    • Human resources planning

      The quality of public policies and the services provided by any government are closely linked to the quality of its civil service. The ways in which the civil service is managed – in other words, crucial human resources management (HRM) functions such as planning, recruitment and selection, and professional development, and the incentives for professionalisation, among other factors – are critical factors to attracting, retaining, and motivating suitable staff.

    • Civil service merit

      The civil service merit index measures the guarantees of professionalism in the way that the civil service system operates. Specifically, it measures the degree of effective protection against arbitrariness, political capture or clientelism, and the different ways that interested groups or sectors engage in rent-seeking.

    • Performance appraisal

      Performance appraisal involves planning, encouraging, and evaluating employees’ contributions to the public sector’s performance. It is a crucial tool for improving staff performance, identifying skills and performance gaps and motivating public servants. It is also a key component to install a performance-oriented administrative culture in public sector institutions.

    • Compensation management

      Adequate compensation management is a key aspect in building a high-performance organisation, as it impacts three of the main goals of public sector HRM: attracting and retaining suitable human capital, building a motivated workforce oriented toward improving institutional performance, and achieving a fiscally sustainable wage bill.

    • Organisation of the HRM function

      The civil service agency or equivalent institution in charge of regulating how human resources are managed within the central government plays a crucial role in shaping HRM practices across the public sector. Public managers and HR units within line ministries or agencies matter as well, as they are in charge of the actual implementation of these practices.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Regulatory policy and governance

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    • General trends and institutional setting

      Regulations are the rules that govern the everyday life of businesses and citizens and one of the key levers by which governments act to promote economic prosperity, enhance welfare and pursue the public interest. To achieve these objectives and ensure regulations are of high quality and fit-for-purpose, a systemic governance framework is needed. In that sense, regulatory policy refers to the set of rules, procedures and institutions by which governments develop, implement and evaluate regulations. Recognising the critical importance of regulatory policy, OECD countries adopted in 2012 the OECD Recommendation of the Council on Regulatory Policy and Governance, which sets out the instruments and institutions that help governments prepare better new rules and improve existing rules.

    • Stakeholder engagement and transparency

      Stakeholder engagement is a central and fundamental pillar of regulatory policy. The central objective of regulatory policy – ensuring that regulations are designed and implemented in the public interest – can only be achieved with help from those subject to regulations, be they citizens, business, civil society or other members of the community. Stakeholder engagement allows governments to collect better evidence as a basis for their decisions. It aims to improve the quality of the rule-making process by getting more diverse inputs and opinions from those who will be affected by government’s decisions. Moreover, engaging affected parties in the process of developing new regulations has shown to increase the sense of ownership and to lead to better compliance with regulations. A transparent regulatory process increases credibility and trust in regulatory institutions.

    • Regulatory Impact Assessment

      Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) is a key policy tool that provides decision makers with detailed information about the potential effects of regulatory measures on the economy, environment and social arrangements. It is therefore a core tool for evidence-based policy making. It is defined as the systematic process of identification and quantification of benefits and costs likely to flow from regulatory or non-regulatory options for a policy under consideration. By strengthening the transparency of regulatory decisions and their justification, RIA may also bolster the credibility of regulatory responses and increase public trust in regulatory institutions and policy makers. The use of RIA has expanded over the past 30 years to become universal across OECD member countries; however, there is no single model that is followed in implementing this regulatory policy tool. The design and evolution of RIA systems has taken into account the institutional, social, cultural and legal context of the relevant country or jurisdiction.

    • Ex post evaluation and administrative simplification

      There is a fundamental value in assessing the effectiveness of regulation once it is in force. It is only after implementation that the effects and impacts of regulations can be fully assessed, including direct and indirect incidence and unintended consequences. Regulations may also become outdated as the result of a change in societal preferences or technological advancement. Consequently, regular reviews are needed to ensure that regulations are still necessary, relevant and fit for purpose. Evaluation of regulations is mainly carried out ex ante through the Regulatory Impact Assessment process while ex post evaluation remains the least developed of the regulatory tools. Administrative simplification, on the contrary, has been widely used both in OECD and LAC countries. It encompasses the reduction of administrative requirements to comply with regulation and moves from a simple review of norms to the quantification of the administrative burdens and better targeting of the simplification efforts.

    • Special feature: Competition-Friendly Regulatory Environment

      A competition-friendly regulatory environment can help raise living standards by stimulating investment, trade and employment. Competition provides the incentives for firms to allocate resources efficiently and contributes to diffusing innovation more rapidly, which may help bridge the persisting productivity gap between the LAC region and advanced economies. It also benefits consumers by facilitating a broader choice and better quality of products at a lower price. There are two important elements to a competition-friendly regulatory environment. First, regulations must be designed in a way that enhances competition and lowers entry barriers encouraging firms to innovate and improve efficiency without being too heavy a burden on companies. Second, these regulations must be complied with or enforced in a transparent and cost-effective way. The OECD Indicators of Product Market Regulation (PMR) are a comprehensive and internationally comparable set of indicators that measure the degree to which policies promote or inhibit competition in areas of the product market. The overall PMR indicator aggregates information in the areas of state control, barriers to entrepreneurship and barriers to trade and investment. A high score of the composite indicators signals that regulatory conditions are less favourable to competition.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Digital and open government

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    • Digital strategies

      Citizens around the world are increasingly demanding to interact with their governments through digital platforms. At the same time, fiscal constraints force governments to operate efficiently and to create a competitive environment where citizens and businesses can manage their relationship with the public sector in the most convenient way. Information and communication technologies (ICTs), when implemented appropriately, have proven to be great allies in government efforts to streamline processes, eliminate paper-based transactions and set up single points of access to the public administration. International experience shows that the governments that have taken greatest advantage of the opportunities offered by ICTs to modernise the public sector are those that have undertaken a planning exercise (i.e. a digital strategy). This is a detailed planning exercise that includes the scope, financing, monitoring, rights and obligations of the affected parties, roles of the different actors and a governance framework providing coordination mechanisms. The exercise should gather as much political support as possible.

    • Measurement of financial benefits and ICT expenditures

      Measuring the effects of public policies allows policy makers and public sector managers to draw lessons and allocate limited financial resources where they can have the biggest impact, thereby increasing efficiency and effectiveness. In the case of ICTs this is particularly important since the business case to support digital government projects is usually based on the time and cost reduction that technology generates for governments, as well as the ease of access to services by businesses and citizens and the resulting level of satisfaction.

    • Procurement of ICT

      The procurement of ICTs has traditionally been a challenge within the public sector due to the ever changing nature of the products and services involved and the technical knowledge required to develop good terms of reference. The capacity to appropriately procure ICT-related products and services has a significant effect on the progress of e-government, making it of utmost importance for governments to have a strategic approach to the purchase of technology.

    • National online portals and digital recognition mechanisms

      National online portals allow for a single point of access to government services, thereby facilitating the interaction of citizens with the public sector and the provision of a unified image of the public sector to the society. As technologies advance, these portals have evolved to become user friendly, interactive and multichannel allowing access via computer, smartphone, other mobile devices or even a regular phone. A relevant example of national online portals is the one established by the Government of the UK that has been a reference to many governments in the LAC region and beyond for its ease-of-use and accessibility.

    • Open government strategies

      An open government promotes a completely different relationship between the government and its citizens. It aims to build stronger democracies and improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency of public services by relying on the use of new technologies. It is built on a citizen-centered approach to create public value by collaborative schemes to co-design and co-implement public policy. In parallel, it promotes public scrutiny so that there is greater integrity and accountability from government authorities, managers, and other officials.

    • Institutional setting and key functions of the open government coordination unit

      The effective and efficient implementation of open government reforms requires the appropriate institutional setting. Therefore, the role of the centre of government (CoG) in providing leadership and effectively and efficiently coordinating policy-making across the government is critical for ensuring a proper implementation of open government initiatives. With the exception of Panama, all surveyed LAC countries indicated that open government initiatives are coordinated by the centre of government. The structure and working dynamics of the centre of government could be different, in 54% of LAC countries, including among others Mexico, it functions directly in the office of the head of government. A different structure was reported by 38% of countries (e.g. Peru) where the CoG operates in the cabinet office/ chancellery/ council of ministers.

    • Challenges to implement the open government strategy

      The institutional and governance frameworks established to support policy implementation are key to secure results and impacts. Hence policy coordination is a crucial component of policy implementation. Effective coordination is hard to achieve and requires certain elements to be present in order to make it sustainable and suitable. However, while those elements may depend on each government’s specific situation, co-ordination calls for three specific components: policy communication, stakeholder consultation and institutional co-operation. Countries in the LAC region were asked about the main challenges they faced concerning the implementation and more specifically the coordination the open government strategy and initiatives.

    • Open government data

      Governments and public organisations produce and collect a wide range of data when performing their day-to-day activities. By sharing these data in ways that are easily accessible, useable and understandable by citizens and businesses, governments cannot only improve access to valuable information about public programmes and services, but also foster innovation and support economic and social development through multiple uses of these data.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Public procurement

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    • Size of public procurement

      Governments are key players in the economy, responsible for spending taxpayers’ money. In order to carry out their tasks and deliver goods and services to citizens, governments establish economic relations with a large number of providers. Public procurement refers to the purchase by governments and state-owned enterprises of goods, services and works.

    • Strategic public procurement

      Given the size of government spending on goods, works and services, public procurement can be an extremely useful policy tool to achieve economic growth and promote socio-economic transformation. While the primary objective of public procurement is to deliver the goods and services necessary to accomplish government objectives in a timely, transparent and efficient manner, in recent years, LAC countries have been using public procurement to pursue secondary policy objectives as well.

    • E-procurement

      E-government procurement (eGP) refers to the use of information technology (e.g. the Internet) by governments in conducting procurement relations with suppliers and contractors. eGP can be an effective channel to enhance transparency, accountability, and efficiency of the government purchasing function. Furthermore, eGP can induce economic development by stimulating markets, modernising the public sector and improving government performance. Finally, the simplification and/or elimination of repetitive tasks in the procurement process by automation can result in considerable time and cost savings.

    • Procurement regulatory entities

      In the LAC region, public procurement agencies or public procurement regulatory and monitoring entities are central bodies in charge of the regulation and monitoring of a country’s public procurement system. This is different from the model commonly found in OECD countries, where these bodies are often a contracting authority. In the LAC context, it is uncommon for procurement regulatory entities to purchase on behalf of public sector entities, with the exception of framework agreements and reverse auctions. The most common model found in the region is for countries to centralise policy and monitoring and decentralise operations. Experience from the region has shown that having an agency with a dedicated policy and monitoring role can drive change by ensuring that new rules and regulations, developed as part of the modernisation of legal frameworks, are implemented.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Annexes

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    • HRM practices composite indexes

      This edition of Government at a Glance: Latin America and the Caribbean 2017, includes five composite indexes on human resource management practices: HR planning, civil service merit, performance appraisal, compensation management and organisation of the HRM function. Data used for the construction of the composites are derived from civil service diagnostic reports by country, which are based on the practices established in the Ibero-American Charter for the Public Service (ICPS).

    • OECD Indicators of Regulatory Policy and Governance (iREG) for Latin America 2016

      The Indicators of Regulatory Policy and Governance (iREG) for Latin America 2016provide an up-to-date overview of regulatory systems in selected Latin American countries, by which they develop, implement and evaluate regulations. They cover three principles of the 2012 OECD Recommendation on Regulatory Policy and Governance: stakeholder engagement, Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) as well as ex post evaluation and administrative simplification.

    • The OECD index on open government data

      This annex provides data for each responding country on the efforts made by government to proactively disclose and support re-use of open government data. These data are the source for the composite indicator presented in Chapter 8.

    • Contextual factors

      This section provides data on administrative and institutional features of each country, including: the composition and electoral system of the legislature, the structure of the executive branch, the division of power between one central and several regional or local governments, and key characteristics of the judicial system. It also provides basic data on population and GDP for 2015 and data on the number of municipalities, provinces, states and/or regions.

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