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WG Public Spending





During the great recession, all efforts have been directed towards introducing greater and better discipline in the management of public finances. This is logical, as it was imposed by fiscal consolidation needs. However, once the economic crisis has been overcome, it seems appropriate to reflect on the quality of public spending in Spain. It is no longer a question of formulating proposals aimed at better control of the deficit or debt, but rather of implementing a performance-based budgeting system, as well as giving greater relevance to the evaluation and control function.

The Fide Working Group has met over the course of a year, in seven working sessions, from October 2017 to September 2018. As a result of these sessions, the group puts forward six proposals, which are set out below, and whose objective is to take steps towards a budget model that specifies the policy objectives to be met and that, through evaluation, allows us to know whether and to what extent they are achieved.
 
 
 
 

Proposals by this WG:

  • It is necessary to reform budget programming, so that it specifies, in a multi-year framework, which are the policy objectives that are to be achieved, which are the options chosen and the means assigned. All this, incorporating, from this phase, the results of ex-ante and ex-post evaluations, with transparency towards citizens.
  • It is convenient to introduce a results-oriented budget model in Spain, which defines its objectives with its indicators, activities and allocated resources. There must also be a monitoring and control system for results, not only financial but operational.
  • The budget, at present, is not a comprehensive instrument of all public spending, which hinders its use as a tool for managing expenditure. Therefore, its coordination with the European System of Accounts must be improved by introducing the accrual criterion and the consolidation of a patrimonial inventory.
  • It is necessary to integrate the evaluation in the budget cycle, through its institutionalization, so that its results are used in decision-making.
  • A system like the one proposed requires reforms in the evaluation and control bodies. On the one hand, there must be a governing body of the evaluation system and, on the other hand, to strengthen the role of Parliament, strengthening the evaluation capacity of the Court of Auditors.
  • Budget reform must reach all levels of government, attributing the basic character to the common legislation of the programming phase, the budget model and the evaluation function.

Proposals

The proposals were published on January 23rd, 2019. The panelists were:
  • Cristina Jiménez Savurido, Fide Foundation President 
  • Jesús Rodríguez Márquez Professor of Financial and Tax Law, Partner and Director of the Tax Practice Area, F & J Martín Abogados. (Director of the working group) 
  • Ignacio Bayón Mariné, Legal Advisor to the Council of State and the General Courts 
  • Juan Antonio Garde Roca, State Treasury Inspector
The proposals can be read on the following links in Spanish and English
 
Or downloaded here: