OECD Journal on Budgeting

Frequency :
1681-2336 (online)
1608-7143 (print)
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The OECD journal on public sector budgeting, published three times per year. It draws on the best of the recent work of the OECD Working Party of Senior Budget Officials (SBO), as well as special contributions from finance ministries, and makes it available to a wider community in an accessible format. The journal provides insight on leading-edge institutional arrangements, systems and instruments for the allocation and management of resources in the public sector. Now published as a part of the OECD Journal subscription package.

Also available in: French

Volume 2, Issue 4 You do not have access to this content

Publication Date :
23 May 2003
Also available in: French

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  23 May 2003 Click to Access:  Budget reform in OECD member countries
Jón R. Blöndal

From the early 1990s, the fiscal position of OECD member countries improved steadily each year, from a deficit of 5% of GDP for member countries as whole in 1993 to a perfect balance in the year 2000, i.e. neither a deficit nor a surplus. In 2001, member countries experienced a deficit of 1% of GDP. Table 1 depicts the general government financial balances of selected OECD member countries. This goes to show the historical pattern in member countries: achieving fiscal consolidation is a slow process and successes in fiscal consolidation can quickly dissipate. A very short time ago, several OECD member countries believed that they were on a long-term track for fiscal surpluses; the era of deficits had been overcome. This did not turn out to be the case; surpluses turned out to be a very short-lived phenomenon for many countries.

  23 May 2003 Click to Access:  Controlling public expenditure
Aaron Wildavsky

What don’t I mean by expenditure limitation? This paper is not about why governments should chose to limit spending. If governments wish to increase spending, that is obviously their prerogative. Moreover, they are, on the evidence, very good at it. Governments need no advice on doing what comes naturally. There need be no solution when there is perceived to be no problem…

  23 May 2003 Click to Access:  How do treasury systems operate in sub-Saharan francophone Africa?
D. Bouley, J. Fournel, Luc Leruth

Treasury systems in sub-Saharan Francophone African countries share many features with the French public expenditure management system of the 1960s on which they were modelled. However, in a different economic and institutional environment, key elements of this framework have evolved in unexpected, unwelcome directions. This paper critically examines two main features of the French system in the sub-Saharan Francophone African context: the strict separation between the person ordering payment and the one disbursing funds, and the centralisation of funds in the treasury. This examination calls attention to – and suggests remedies for – the specific flaws that have evolved from the traditional framework.

  23 May 2003 Click to Access:  Privatisation, public purpose and private service
Daniel Guttman

The 1992 book Reinventing Government, the template for the identically named Clinton-Gore initiative, identified 36 alternatives to "standard delivery service". Surprisingly, the authors wrote, the federal government already relies on many of these alternatives. Similarly, the basic tools identified by the Reagan Commission on Privatisation – vouchers, sale of government assets, and contracting – were not new...

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