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Budgeting and Public Expenditures in OECD Countries 2019

image of Budgeting and Public Expenditures in OECD Countries 2019

This report provides a comprehensive view of practices and developments in the governance, implementation and performance of budgeting across OECD countries. It looks at recent practices such as the application of medium-term frameworks and the use of data and analytics to highlight the impacts of policies on concerns such as gender equality and the environment. Reflecting countries’ efforts to strengthen the insitutions supporting ficsal policy, the report also discusses trends in Parliamentary oversight, citizen participation, transparency, infrastructure governance and the management of fiscal risks.

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Quality of public expenditures: Budgeting for performance, results and value-for-money

Countries use a range of processes to control the quality and impact of public expenditures, in addition to the amount of spending. These processes include spending reviews, performance budgeting and evaluation procedures. The survey results underline the continuing difficulties in making effective use of these instruments and in demonstrating their impact on budgetary decision-making. Spending reviews are now in regular use in the majority of OECD countries, and serve both in identifying areas for potential savings, and to improve alignment of public expenditure with strategic and political priorities. Assessing the tangible impact of spending review is hampered by data issues, however promising new approaches emphasise the ‘directional’ approaches of aligning such revsiews with thematic priorities and with a framework of ‘public value’. Performance budgeting is increasingly prevalent but involves significant additional data and information requirements while the direct input to policy making remains sometimes insufficiently visible. Approaches of developing “strategic dashboards” to manage the flow of information to desinion makers, and encouraging routine use of performance information by programme managers arein keeping with the aspirations of performance budgeting. Evaluation processes have yet to demonstrate a close linkage to budgetary decision-making.More clearly structured approaches and policies on evaluation and establishing closer connections between ex-ante and ex-post evlauations, appear to point the way forward.

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