Governments in OECD countries operate in an economic, social and political environment which is increasingly complex and unpredictable. In this context, governments are striving to design and implement reforms that support inclusive growth, improve access to and quality of public services while also ensuring high value for money to address persisting budget constraints. Government at a Glance 2017 provides a wealth of evidence on public practices and procedures to inform public sector reforms in member countries and partner countries. This editions contains the most recent data on public finance and public employment, as well as a number of survey data on public practices and procedures (including for instance budgeting practices and procedures, human resource management, public sector integrity, regulatory governance, open government and risk management and communication) and two chapters on results and outcomes of government operations. In this edition, the opening chapter uses indicators presented in the publication to provide policy insights on how to deal with complexity with a particular focus on integrating systems thinking and new working methods and tools in government, leveraging the wealth of data and evidence available and opening up government processes to stakeholders for better results.

This work was led by Zsuzsanna Lonti of the OECD Public Governance and Territorial Development Directorate (GOV) under the direction of Rolf Alter and Edwin Lau. It is a major component of GOV’s work programme, which seeks to help governments at all levels design and implement strategic, evidence-based and innovative policies to strengthen public governance, respond effectively to diverse and disruptive economic, social and environmental challenges and deliver on governments’ commitments to citizens. The publication was drafted by Guillaume Lafortune, Alessandro Lupi and Rebecca Schultz. Assistance from Reginald Dadzie and Julia Smadja was also very much appreciated. Major drafted contributions were received from Edwin Lau, Stéphane Jacobzone, Julio Bacio Terracino, Frederic Boehm and Céline Kauffmann (Chapter 1: Embracing continuous change in government); Nelson Amaya, Ronnie Downes and Luiz De Mello (Chapter 2: Public finance and economics); Daniel Gerson, Cristina Mendes, Maya Bacache Tatyana Teplova and Pinar Guven (Chapter 3: Public employment and pay); Andrew Davies, Andrea Urhammer and Teresa Deubelli (Chapter 4: Institutions); Ronnie Downes, , Lisa Von Trapp, Camilla Vammalle, Delphine Moretti, Juliane Jansen, Scherie Nicol and Rasha Alshatti (Chapter 5: Budgeting practices and procedures); Daniel Gerson, Cristina Mendes and Maya Bacache (Chapter 6: Human resource management); Janos Bertok, Julio Bacio Terracino, Frederic Boehm, Natalia Nolan-Flecha and Levke Jessen-Thiesen (Chapter 7: Public sector integrity); Céline Kaufmann, Christiane Arndt, Rebecca Schultz, Faisal Naru, Filippo Cavassini and Daniel Trnka, (Chapter 8: Regulatory governance); Janos Bertok, , Paulo Magina, Mathieu Cahen and Minjoo Son (Chapter 9: Public procurement); Alessandro Bellantoni, Maria Emma Cantera, Simon Schmitz, Barbara Ubaldi and Arturo Jacob Rivera Perez (Chapter 10: Open Government); Piret Tonurist and Joao Vasconcelos (Chapter 11: Innovative and Digital Government), Jack Radish, Catherine Gamper, Roberto Schiano Lomoriello, Stéphane Jacobzone (Chapter 12: Risk management and communication). We thank Kate Lancaster, Audrey Garrigoux, Carmen Fernandez Biezma, Marie-Claude Gohier and Laura Boutin for their help in preparing the document for publication. Translation in French was made possible thanks to Christophe Delprat, Frédéric Berri and Myriam Shalak-Graziani.

This publication is the result of contributions from a wide range of sources and expertise. It benefited from inputs provided by the OECD Public Governance Committee and the Government at a Glance Steering Group (details in Annex G); the OECD Committee on Statistics; the Public Employment and Management Working Party; the Working Party of Senior Budget Officials; the OECD Expert Group on Conflict of Interest; the Working Party of Senior Digital Government Officials (E-Leaders); the Working Party of the Leading Practitioners on Public Procurement; the Expert Group on Innovative and Open Government; and the OECD Expert Group on Open Data. Valuable comments have also been received from Peter Van de Ven (OECD Statistics Directorate); Gaetan Lafortune, (OECD Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs), Corinne Heckman, Alfonso Echazarra, Carlos Gonzalez-Sancho, Camila De Moraes, Daniel Sanchez Serra and Giovanni Maria Semeraro (OECD Directorate for Education) and Marie-Claire Sodergren International Labour Organization, Geneva, Switzerland).