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Government at a Glance 2009

image of Government at a Glance 2009
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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Introduction

Government at a Glance is a new publication series produced by the OECD that explores emerging public governance issues and sets out indicators in a range of areas that, when examined together, constitute important building blocks of a wellfunctioning public management system. Chapter I – the special feature chapter – describes some key public governance issues that are important to governments’ capacity to address the long-term effects of the current financial and economic crises and links them to indicators presented further in the publication. It also raises some fundamental questions facing governments as they look to further transform their public governance systems to better adapt and respond to unpredictable environments. Chapters II-X provide a set of indicators that show the current role and reach of government, and focus on important aspects of government’s public management capacity. This new publication builds upon 20 years of expertise at the OECD in the area of public governance (defined as the exercise of political, economic and administrative authority) and public management, particularly in describing and analysing government activities, developing benchmarks and internationally comparative data, identifying good practices and monitoring results. It also benefits from a practitioner focus: the OECD’s unique access to senior-level officials in member governments provides perspective on how public administration works to support sectoral policies such as health or education, which are dealt with in other OECD At a Glance publications.

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