Tax policy analysis

Fiscal Decentralisation Initiative (1993-2008)


The Fiscal Decentralisation Initiative (FDI) was a joint initiative of the OECD, the World Bank, the Council of Europe, the Open Society Institute (Budapest), the UNDP, USAID and some OECD member countries to assist transition economies in Central and Eastern Europe in carrying out intergovernmental reforms. The main objectives of the initiative were: to encourage local democracies to improve the capacity of local governments to plan and administer expenditures and raise revenues; and to support local governments in their efforts to become more responsive and accountable to their constituencies.


More on FDI

The relationship between different levels of government is one that is continually under review. Policy-makers ensure the expenditure and revenue functions of each tier of government with a view to balancing efficiency, equity and democratic considerations.

Setting up of local fiscal systems and intergovernmental fiscal relations involves multiple and often conflicting economic and political objectives. Practically, it is one of the most complex reform processes in the area of public finance and one that is permanently on the political agenda of both OECD countries and economies in transition. Yet there is no international, comparative set of information available to support this process: The international comparable statistics on revenue of local autonomy and the design of national fiscal contral are either lacking or insufficient.

To support the ongoing national policy considerations the OECD had, since 1999-2000, been carrying out surveys on fiscal design in ten Central and Eastern European countries: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia
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2000 Surveys on Fiscal Design - Report on Activities

Surveys were carried out in: Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary and Poland.

The country reports were prepared by the central governments in each of the countries. They give a presentation of expenditure and taxing powers across levels of governments in each of the six countries, together with an evaluation of subnational discretion in financial decision-making and the nature of the 'hard budget constraints', imposed by central governments on the subnational authorities.


Summary note

The summary note were prepared by the OECD Secretariat. The OECD Tax Policy Study No. 7, Fiscal Design surveys across levels of Governments brings together comparative quantitative and qualitative results of the six country surveys with a view of supporting policy considerations on fiscal decentralisation reforms in these countries. Executive summaries of the country reports can also be found in the said Tax Policy Studies.


2001 Surveys on Fiscal Design - Report on Activities

Surveys were carried out in: Bulgaria, Romania, Slovak Republic, and Slovenia

The survey was launched in the Opening Meeting at OECD headquarters on 12 November 2001. In-country work took place from November 2001 to January 2002. The final country reports were delivered to the Secretariat in February 2002. In April 2002, the findings of the surveys were presented at the Closing Meeting in Paris.


Danish EU Conference - Decentralisation: Trends, Perspectives and Issues at the Threshold of EU Enlargement

Below, are links to the Fiscal Decentralisation Initiative documentation for the Conference held in Copenhagen on 10-11 October 2002. The documentation covers the ten country surveys as prepared in 2000-2001 in CEE and some benchmark presentations on 8 EU Member countries.


World Bank / OECD / CDE Joint Project on Statistical Capacity Building at Subnational Level

The programme aimed to strengthen evidence-based policy-making at the subnational level in Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia, Slovak Republic and Ukraine. The programme tried to achieve this goal by building analytical capacity in collecting subnational statistics.

For more information on the Statistical Capacity Building Project, please address:


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