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Government at a Glance

Latin America and the Caribbean 2014: Towards Innovative Public Financial Management

image of Government at a Glance

Latin American and Caribbean Government at a Glance offers a dashboard of more than 30 indicators to help decision makers and citizens analyze and benchmark government performance both within the LAC region and compared to the OECD countries. The publication focuses in four broad areas: budgeting practices; public sector pay and employment; public procurement and public finances. Furthermore, the policy chapter deepens in the budgetary and fiscal innovations which have taken place for the LAC region in the past years.

Despite the fact that the LAC region has not been so badly affected by the recent Global and Financial crisis, the Latin American an Carribbean Government at a Glance argues that governments need to be more inclusive, transparent, receptive and efficient. For that, they need to improve among other budgetary, employment and procurement practices, as well as increase the transparency levels.

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Legislative capacity to ensure transparency in the budget process

The legislature plays a crucial role in the budgetary process. The presentation of the budget and related documentation in legislature is normally the first opportunity for public scrutiny of a government’s priorities, thus it becomes an essential component for transparency and public financial accountability. To meaningfully engage in the budget process, rather than simply serving as a rubber stamp, legislatures require reliable, unbiased information as well as strong analytical capacity. This support can result in different institutional arrangements, for instance specialised budget research units within congress/parliament, or independent congressional/parliamentary budget offices (PBOs). Furthermore, among OECD member countries, the establishment of fiscal councils has become quite common.

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