Annex C. Terms of reference for review of election costings

The OECD team will review the FPB’s first electoral costing exercise, including its strategic approach, process, and analytical capacity with recommendations for improvements and an action plan.

The review will cover the two phases of analysis in the electoral costing exercise: (1) estimated budgetary cost of individual measures, and distributional cost effects undertaken for one package of relevant measures, and (2) analysis of overall electoral proposals based on key economic, fiscal, social, and environmental indicators.

The review will examine existing analytical resources and resource gaps, as well as analytical issues such as:

  • Neutrality of macroeconomic feedback and behavioural analysis.

  • Appropriateness of time horizon for cost estimates.

  • Method and order of operations for assessing interaction effects between measures.

  • Comprehensiveness of the costing service.

  • Transparency regarding relevant assumptions and uncertainty in costings.

  • Procedures for quality control, transparency of assumptions and provision of information.

In addition, the review will cover aspects such as:

  • Stakeholder relations and satisfaction, and communications.

  • The scope of requests, and the handling of requests that do not fall within that scope or have insufficient information or policy details.

  • Protocols for:

    • Request management.

    • Confidentiality.

    • Exchanging information and feedback.

    • Revising, retracting, or correcting requests or issuing errata.

  • Timelines.

  • The increase in quality and quantity of information available to political parties and the electorate, including the coverage and comprehensiveness of costed policies versus announced policies.

  • The influence of cost estimates in the media and public debates.

Where relevant, the FPB’s experience will be compared to that of peers with an election policy costing mandate, such as the Netherlands CPB or the Canadian and Australian PBOs, and assessed against good practices, such as in the “OECD Guidelines for Independent Costing of Policy Proposals” (2023).

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