Government at a Glance 2013

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Government at a Glance 2013 provides readers with a dashboard of key indicators assembled with the goal of contributing to the analysis and international comparison of public sector performance. Indicators on government revenues, expenditures, and employment are provided alongside key output and outcome data in the sectors of education and health. Government at a Glance also includes indicators on key governance and public management issues, such as transparency in governance, regulatory governance, new ways in delivering public services and HRM and compensation practices in the public service. While measuring government performance has long been recognized as playing an important role in increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of the public administration, following the economic crisis and fiscal tightening in many member countries, good indicators are needed more than ever to help governments make informed decisions regarding tough choices and help restore confidence in government institutions.

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Executive budget flexibility

A feature of budget reforms in many OECD countries is the relaxing of input controls by the central budget authority to give government organisations greater flexibility and autonomy to achieve their objectives efficiently and effectively. It is based upon the premise that heads of individual government organisations are the best positioned to achieve their policy and programme objectives (let managers manage). Moreover, even with a sound budget formulation process, economic assumptions can change, input prices can fluctuate and evolving political priorities can call for the reallocation of budgeted resources. Greater flexibility for line managers permits them to adjust spending according to such changing conditions.

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