Government at a Glance 2011

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This second edition of Government at a Glance more than doubles the number of available indicators of OECD governments’ performance. The indicators compare the political and institutional frameworks of government across OECD countries as well as government revenues and expenditures, employment, and compensation. They also include indicators describing government policies and practices on integrity, e-government and open government, and introduce several composite indexes summarising key aspects of public management practices in human resources management, budgeting, procurement, and regulatory management. For each figure, the book provides a dynamic link (StatLink) which direct the user to a web page where corresponding data are available in Excel® format. The report also offers two special chapters, on leveraged governance and on the policy implications of fiscal consolidation.

The 58 data sets of member and partner countries in this 2011 edition of Government at a Glance include the first ever international comparison of public sector pay for selected professions and public service occupations, which points to a fairly egalitarian pay structure in the public sector;  estimations of country-specific fiscal consolidation requirements, which have been found to be large in many countries; the level of disclosure of private interests in the three branches of government; and  the implementation gap of Open Government policies to promote transparency, efficiency and trust.

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The second edition of Government at a Glance is being published at a time when the aftermath of the financial and economic crises that started in 2008 is being felt everywhere. Reforming the financial sector, addressing persistent high unemployment, the lack of economic growth, the volatility of markets, the risk of trade and foreign direct investment restrictions and the increase in migration flows are serious policy challenges of unprecedented scope. The room for manoeuvre in most countries is further reduced through high debt and deficit levels. In fact, the speed, scope and timing of fiscal consolidation are considered by many as crucial for progress in other public policy objectives. Government at a Glance 2011 provides key quantitative and qualitative data that can enable evidence-based decision making as well as help governments plan for the future. It allows for the comparison of government activities, practices and performance across a number of critical dimensions, and helps pinpoint areas that warrant further examination. Chapter II tackles questions about the quality of reforms announced to date in member countries.

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