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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Fiscal rules

A fiscal rule is a long-term constraint on fiscal policy through numerical limits on the budgetary aggregates. Without overall limits, incremental budgeting can become an open-ended process in which governments accommodate demands by spending more than they have. A fiscal rule has two fundamental characteristics. First, it presents a constraint that binds political decisions made by the legislature and by the executive. And second, it serves as a concrete indicator of the executive’s fiscal management. While fiscal rules can help governments to achieve fiscal objectives and discipline, there is no one‑size-fits‑all rule for every country.

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