OECD Journal on Budgeting

Frequency :
3 times a year
ISSN :
1681-2336 (online)
ISSN :
1608-7143 (print)
DOI :
10.1787/16812336
Next Issue: 22 Dec 2014
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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 3, Issue 3 You do not have access to this content

Publication Date :
11 Dec 2003
DOI :
10.1787/budget-v3-3-en
Also available in: French

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  11 Dec 2003 Click to Access: 
    http://oecd.metastore.ingenta.com/content/4203041ec002.pdf
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  • http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/governance/the-role-of-fiscal-rules-in-budgeting_budget-v3-art14-en
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The Role of Fiscal Rules in Budgeting
Allen Schick

Budgeting is a rule-driven process that regulates the raising and spending of public money. Detailed rules govern the submission of bids for resources by spending units, review of these bids by the Finance Ministry or another central organ, compilation of the annual budget, legislative action including the voting of appropriations, expenditure of funds during the financial year, and reporting on financial stocks and flows. Why have many national governments adopted new budget rules when they have a plethora of old ones? The new rules do not replace – although they may modify – existing rules, thereby adding to the complexity of established budget processes, and often adding as well to the time it takes to complete the main steps in the annual budget cycle. Why add to the complications of an already difficult process? If it is because the old rules do not work, why is it expected that new ones will make much of a difference? Furthermore, the old rules generally empower budget-makers by enabling them to allocate resources according to the preferences of government. Fiscal rules, by contrast, constrain budget-makers, taking away much of their authority to decide aggregate revenue and spending policy. These rules typically prescribe the balance between revenue and spending policy. Every fiscal rule is a limit on the exercise of political will. Why have democracies accepted or imposed fiscal limits on themselves, and why should we expect these limits to be effective when they run counter to the preferences of voters and politicians?...

  11 Dec 2003 Click to Access: 
    http://oecd.metastore.ingenta.com/content/4203041ec003.pdf
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  • http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/governance/a-comparison-between-two-public-expenditure-management-systems-in-africa_budget-v3-art15-en
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A Comparison Between Two Public Expenditure Management Systems in Africa
Ian Lienert

Many African countries are benefiting from reductions in their external debt. One important objective is to redirect the budgetary resources released from servicing external debt towards poverty-reducing expenditures. Several questions arise in this context. First, are the public expenditure management (PEM) systems of African countries robust enough to allow specific povertyreducingexpenditures to be identified in annual budgets and tracked in countries’ accounting systems? Second, does the expenditure control system allow poverty-reducing expenditures to be protected from cuts should there be unforeseen shortfalls in revenues? Third, are internal and external audit mechanisms effective, so as to ensure the integrity of expenditure reports, both in-year and annually? To answer these and other questions, an assessment of the entire PEM system is required in each country. Such a study has already been prepared.1 During 2001, the PEM systems of 24 low-income countries were assessed based on a common set of 15 questions in the areas of budget preparation, budget execution, and fiscal reporting. Figure 1 shows the results for two regions of Africa (Anglophone countries and Francophone countries) – well below what is required to meet the objectives of effective PEM systems (both regions attained only about 40% of the required benchmarks)...

  11 Dec 2003 Click to Access: 
    http://oecd.metastore.ingenta.com/content/4203041ec004.pdf
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  • http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/governance/the-role-of-evaluations-in-political-and-administrative-learning-and-the-role-of-learning-in-evaluation-praxis_budget-v3-art16-en
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The Role of Evaluations in Political and Administrative Learning and the Role of Learning in Evaluation Praxis
Jan-Eric Furubo

The writing of this paper, is in reference to my contribution in Can Governments Learn?, one of the books published by the International Evaluation Research Group. My immediate and first reaction was that it is of course always very nice to be asked to contribute for a distinguished audience. My second reaction was to ask myself when my essay in Can Governments Learn? was really written and what questions it dealt with; and perhaps even more, what was the answer to the question which constitutes the title of the book. The need to ask the latter questions had of course something to do with the answer to the first question, namely that the essay was written about 10 years ago. It was therefore obvious that the discussion in this book in a more technical sense had to be updated, but also had to take into account both some new empirical material and the discussion within a couple of intellectual fields. The title of this current paper implies several questions: to what degree politicians and administrators learn from evaluations, and also to what degree learning takes place among the evaluators themselves. These questions create a sort of strategic problem. Am I going to give the answer at the beginning of my paper or perhaps later? But perhaps I will compromise: I will start with a short version of the answer now, but elaborate on the answer later...

  11 Dec 2003 Click to Access: 
    http://oecd.metastore.ingenta.com/content/4203041ec005.pdf
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  • http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/governance/can-public-sector-organisations-learn_budget-v3-art17-en
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Can Public Sector Organisations Learn?
Maria Barrados, John Mayne

In recent years, considerable attention has been focused on the importance of managing information in organisations, as well as the challenges for organisations to make use of and adapt from it. Organisationsare expected to value information, to be able to learn from the past and to adapt to changing circumstances. While much of the literature has focused on  private sector organisations, public sector organisations and indeed thegovernments within which they operate are undergoing significant reforms and face equal challenges. This paper considers organisational learning in the public sector in light of current public sector reform initiatives, many of which have implicitly been based on the assumption that the public sector can indeed use empirical evidence on past experience to inform current decision-making. In doing so, the paper tries to avoid treating organisational learning anthromorphically, focusing instead on the processes and procedures that form the life blood of organisations. Learning in organisations relates to how the organisation deliberately changes and adapts over time in terms of structures, functions, values, attitudes and behaviour. Organisational learning, as we shall use the term, refers to formal structures of information and whether or not they are used. Our interest is in how organisations can bring together information on past performance and have it influence decisions. Building on organisational learning literature, we will argue that while individual learning is important, it is not enough. There is a need to institutionalise learning processes within a public sector organisation...

  11 Dec 2003 Click to Access: 
    http://oecd.metastore.ingenta.com/content/4203041ec006.pdf
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  • http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/governance/knowledge-management-in-government_budget-v3-art18-en
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Knowledge Management in Government
Jean-Michel Saussois

Governments cannot afford to overlook a ground swell that is currently transforming companies, and more especially big companies. It is important that governments draw the appropriate conclusions, not by seeking to "copy" the private sector, but by endeavouring to innovate in accordance with their own identity and specificity and in accordance with their own way of managing their human resources. The following issue paper is in three parts: the first part briefly describes the ground swell, which is commonly known as knowledge management; the second part shows why this movement is also of significance for the public sector; the third part makes proposals with a view to initiating a debate capable of turning into a genuine action programme affecting government over the coming years...

  11 Dec 2003 Click to Access: 
    http://oecd.metastore.ingenta.com/content/4203041ec007.pdf
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  • http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/governance/public-management-reform_budget-v3-art19-en
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Public Management Reform
Christopher Pollitt

In this paper I want to address some fundamental questions concerning the nature of knowledge about public management reform, and particularly its transferability between countries and contexts. My main point will be that knowledge of what works and what does not tends to be heavily contextdependent. That is to say, a technique or organisational structure which succeeds in one place may fail in another. So – to put it bluntly – there is no set of general tools that can be transferred from one jurisdiction to another, all around the world, with confidence that they will work well every time. This means we have to look carefully at contexts, and at the "terms of trade" each time we are thinking of borrowing a good management idea from somewhere else. This is not a "how-to-do-it" paper. Rather it is a series of reflections on the nature of the "trade" in public management reforms, drawing on the existing academic literature and seeking to identify issues where further work seems to be desirable...

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