Government at a Glance 2009

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The actions and policies of government touch our daily lives in countless ways. Quantifying and measuring government actions can help leaders make better decisions, and can help to hold government accountable to its citizens. 

Government at a Glance is a new, biennial publication of the OECD providing over 30 indicators describing government performance. It compares the political and institutional frameworks of government across OECD countries, as well as government revenues, expenditures and employment. It also includes indicators describing government policies and practices in integrity, e-government and open government, and introduces several composite indexes summarising key aspects of public management practices in human resource management, budgeting and regulatory management. For each figure, the book provides a dynamic link (StatLink) which directs the user to a web page where the corresponding data are available in Excel® format.

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This is the first edition of Government at a Glance, a new addition to the OECD’s At a Glance series. Government at a Glance fills an important gap in internationally comparative data and general knowledge on how governments work, providing indicators describing government institutions, structures, inputs and prevailing public management practices in OECD member countries. It also examines public governance issues that are important to governments’ capacity to address the long-term effects of the recent crises, and raises some questions facing governments as they look to further transform their public governance practices. This publication is particularly timely as the recent financial and economic crises have heightened the role of government in the economy and society, while requiring governments to be more efficient, effective and citizen-centred.

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