OECD Journal on Budgeting

The OECD Journal on Budgeting is published three times per year. It draws on the best of the recent work of the OECD Working Party of Senior Budget Officials (SBO), as well as special contributions from finance ministries, academics and experts in the field and makes it available to a wider community in an accessible format. The journal provides insight on leading-edge institutional arrangements, systems and instruments for the allocation and management of resources in the public sector.

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Introducing accountable budgeting

lessons from a decade of performance-based budgeting in the Netherlands

This article assesses the experience of the Netherlands with performance budgeting since full programme and performance budgeting was introduced in 1999-2002. The lessons learned so far resulted in 2012 in a reform called “Accountable Budgeting” involving a major overhaul of the performance budgeting structure in order to enable more detailed parliamentary oversight as well as to enhance internal control by the Ministry of Finance and line ministries. The article examines international experience with PBB reform and its use in the context of the Netherlands national government, focusing on the lessons learned concerning the use of performance information in the budgetary process. The “Accountable Budgeting” reform is explained, and the concluding section assesses which PBB assumptions were challenged, abandoned or retained in these reforms and discusses possible future developments in budget presentation.

JEL classification: H610

Keywords: Accountable budgeting, Verantwoord Begroten, performance-based budgeting, PBB, parliamentary oversight, budget reform, performance information, budgetary process, budget reform, budget presentation, Netherlands


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