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This paper aims to identify a few features of institutions and policies in the Dutch public sector that can be characterised as "typically Dutch" and that, moreover, may be considered as worthy of further thought, or perhaps even as a source of inspiration, for countries that are presently thinking about the modernisation of their public sector.
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This article focuses on non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) in the Netherlands that are funded by public money and whose task is defined by law. In terms of public spending, the service delivery role of NDPBs is quite extensive, and they are investing in new ways of enhancing their efficiency, the quality of their services, and the confidence of those with whom they deal. The notion of broad public accountability applies: NDPBs are
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This article analyses the experience of the Spanish government in achieving financial equilibrium between 1998 and 2003 and the institutional mechanisms for maintaining budget stability. Spain has a high degree of fiscal decentralisation; thus compliance with the budget discipline requirements of the European Stability and Growth Pact is somewhat complex. To ensure that all levels of government contribute to fulfilling Spain’s
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The Belgian government delegates some of its tasks to semi-public bodies in what is known as functional devolution. There are 15 public social security institutions in the sectors of employment and unemployment, pensions, family allowances, health and disability insurance.
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Accountability is now acknowledged as an important element in good governance in the public sector. The term itself is complex, covering many aspects including: the move from accounting to accountability; the need to increase transparency; the importance of the political interface; the distinction between internal and external accountability; the use of accountability information; the interaction of accountability systems with other
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In Denmark, nearly all public services for individuals and families are delegated to local authorities, resulting in high quality and flexible delivery. The financing of these services is mostly ensured by tax revenues determined by the individual local authority but linked to the central government income tax. Local accountability in this regard has recently been called into question. Although local borrowing is strictly controlled,
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Reform of government financial management systems in the past decade has seen developments in accrual accounting and in results-based budgeting and reporting. Australia has worked with an accrual-based framework for outcomes and outputs budgeting and reporting since fiscal year 1999/2000. The United Kingdom moved to a resource-based (or accrual-based) financial management system in April 2001. This article evaluates the Australian and
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The essential actors in co-ordinating fiscal discipline in Germany are the Federation and the 16 Länder. This article presents an overview of the legal basis of the budgetary process and how it is designed with respect to Federation-Länder relations. Developments since 1945 are also described, including the budget reform of 1969, German adherence to the European Economic and Monetary Union, and the work of the Federalism Commission
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Since 1992, the United Kingdom has used a new type of public-private partnership for the delivery of public services: the Private Finance Initiative. In the design of PFI projects, the assessment of risk, and who is best able to manage it, needs to be carefully considered.
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Since 1997, a medium-term fiscal framework has been applied to virtually all aspects of budget preparation in Sweden. The longer three-year horizon has enabled better fiscal discipline through the use of fiscal targets and advanced forecasting models. Particular attention is placed on ensuring the consistency and quality of forecasts. In addition, forecasting of revenues and expenditures is an exercise that involves all levels of the