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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Improving fairness through selected government policies

One of the major tasks of government is to level the playing field for citizens by ensuring fairness in both the processes it follows – procedural justice – and the results it achieves – distributive justice. A key element of the latter is to allow income differences to exist to the extent that they acknowledge and reward performance, accepting individuals’ differential contributions to economic and social well-being. At the same time, governments should seek to minimise economic and social harm that can arise from inequality and take into account the societal consensus. These twin objectives lead to reduced income inequalities through progressive taxation and the use of cash transfers (e.g. pensions, unemployment insurance).

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