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Malawi provides valuable experience on the advantages of a holistic approach when attempting reforms, and on how to manage longer reform programmes. Since 1995, the budget process has been based on the principles of the Medium-term Expenditure Framework. This article presents the findings of a comprehensive review of the MTEF in 1999/2000 which examined its strengths and weaknesses, the possible causes and the proposed reforms
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The new fiscal and expenditure policy framework adopted in the United Kingdom in 1997 included clear fiscal rules and a reformed system of budgetary controls and capital appraisal procedures. Those macro and micro reforms also allowed the historic shortfall in public investment to be addressed. This article lays out some general considerations for public investment policy, including involving the private sector, and describes how the
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Uganda’s economy has undergone major fluctuations from a vibrant economy in the 1960s, to suffering severe macroeconomic imbalances in the 1970s and 1980s, to enjoying an economic revival since the late 1980s. A key focus of recent public financial management reforms has been to improve macroeconomic performance and ensure strict budgetary discipline, in particular through the use of a three-year rolling budgetary plan as early as
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The most important strategic tasks of Hungarian economic policy are to complete the process of European integration, to build up the appropriate institutional and social capacities and to harmonise real and nominal convergence. This article discusses a theoretical framework for modernisation and how it could be adapted to the Hungarian public sector. Several action scenarios are discussed, but any reforms should aim to rethink the
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This case study considers the substantial reforms to the South African public expenditure management system undertaken since the mid-1990s. The key aspects of the reform process have been: establishing the institutional framework for budget reforms through the "new" Constitution and further national legislation and practice; adopting a multi-year budget framework and top-down budget process; developing a framework for public financial
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This article analyses the evolution of Portuguese public expenditure from 1990 to 2004, in order to assess the current position and the prospects for future developments in the absence of corrective measures and structural reforms.
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This article discusses selected historical developments of Japan’s public finance system from 1947 through 2004, then analyses the successful efforts for fiscal consolidation in the 1980s and the unsuccessful attempt in the 1990s. The article concludes with a look at ongoing reform efforts and lessons for the future.
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Performance-based budgeting seems to be a promising tool for improving the management and accountability of public finances. However, its application causes many difficulties. This article briefly reviews international experience with performance-based budgeting and explores its application in the Netherlands since the late 1990s, including a case study of the Safety Programme. The focus is on transparency and the quality of the
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This article addresses the political, social and broader economic context of public finance reforms in Angola, drawing upon historical perspectives of economic development in Africa and the country’s own experience. The article highlights changes in Angolan practices in line with generally accepted public finance principles, and demonstrates how these reforms occurred within a particular political economy and within sets of
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This article discusses the United Kingdom framework for performance budgeting and management and its evolution from 1998 onwards, primarily focused on the period 1998-2007. Public service agreements (PSAs) have moved away from inputs and processes to a focus on the outcomes that matter to public service users.