Directorate for Public Governance

Working Papers on Public Governance


The Working Paper Series on Public Governance was launched in 2007 to present data and analysis in several areas of public governance, including management in government, public employment and management, and regulatory reform.

  • Successful Practices and Policies to Promote Regulatory Reform and Entrepreneurship at the Sub-national Level, Working Paper No. 18, April 2010

Abstract: This report is part of the OECD-Mexico initiative "Strengthening of Economic Competition and Regulatory Improvement for Competitiveness". It summarises the findings of several case studies on best practices to promote regulatory reform and entrepreneurship at the sub-national level. By including both, Mexican and international experiences, this report derives practical lessons for sub-national governments to improve their regulatory quality and create dynamic business environments.

Abstract: This Working Paper presents preliminary analytical estimates using the 1998 and 2005 surveys of indicators of systems for the management of regulatory quality. The report presents some preliminary regressions with reduced forms, including fixed and random effects, linking the indicators to macroeconomic indicators. The findings tend to support the view that improvements in regulatory management system quality yield significant economic benefits.

  • Tools for Regulatory Quality and Financial Sector Regulation - Working Paper No. 16, December 2009 

Abstract: This report provides a comparative perspective on the application of quality regulation principles to financial sector regulators, in the US, Canada, Australia, the UK and France. The report finds that the requirements related to better regulation principles are often implemented too late in the decision-making process when regulations are set at the international level.

Abstract: OECD member and non-member governments are actively looking for ways to facilitate and improve the relationships among levels of government. These relationships lie between the central and sub-national levels, as well as among peer levels. They can also be seen in individual public management disciplines, such as fiscal relations, HRM, regulatory management and e-government. This report looks at ways to build more effective relations among levels of government.

Abstract: Multi-level regulatory governance is becoming a priority in many OECD countries. High quality regulation at a certain level of government can be compromised by poor regulatory policies and practices at other levels, impacting negatively on the performance of economies and on business and citizens’ activities.

Abstract: This paper argues that reform and change are generally used as interchangeable concepts but that is not always appropriate as reforms do not always produce change and changes are not always the product of reform efforts. This study draws on the notion of receptivity to explain the practice of managing change in six OECD countries: Finland, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland.

  • Regulatory Management Systems Across OECD Countries: Indicators of Recent Achievements and Challenges - Working Paper No. 11, January 2007

Abstract: This paper presents the contributions and limits of composite indicators of regulatory management systems and provides an overview of regulatory management systems, including regulatory policies, institutions, processes and tools. This report assesses regulatory policies in member countries as well as their regulatory management systems using the 1998 and 2005 indicators.

Abstract: The paper develops an architecture for regulatory institutions that could be feasible in the current Russian context. The paper examines two specific areas: first, establishing a regulatory oversight unit, located at the centre of government, responsible for the strategic co-ordination of regulatory reforms and oversight of regulatory quality; and second, redefining the mandates and strengthening the capacities of the competition authority and regulators of network industries. The paper draws on OECD experience and provides a number of lessons which could direct Russia’s future efforts in regulatory reform onto a track more similar to the one observed across the OECD.

Abstract: One of the activities of the Public Governance Committee of the OECD is the development of comparable data and indicators of good government and efficient public services. An ongoing element is the development of a new methodology to gather comparable data on public employment. Achieving a consistent and acceptable classification of the data first required establishing a terminology and a new definition of what has been called the "public domain". Thus the scope of the project broadened to include a comparison of employment data in government to the costs of production of services of the public domain (Comparison of Employment in the Public Domain, CEPD). The new classification is now consistent with the system of national accounts (SNA).

Abstract: This second working paper published in preparation of the publication 'Government at a Glance' (2009) focuses on two main themes: (1) the identification of core data for 'Government at a Glance', and (2) the publication of existing data that help assess the efficiency of government. The paper first identifies three reasons for the regular collection of core data, before going on to describe the methodological challenges encountered in the measurement of efficiency in the public sector and to consider the empirical evidence on the institutional drivers of efficiency in the public sector. Finally, it presents currently available data highlighting some of the core information that 'Government at a Glance' will include, and some highlights of output data from two policy sectors, health and education.

Abstract: Political involvement in administration is essential for the proper functioning of a democracy. Without this an incoming political administration would find itself unable to change policy direction. However public services need protection against being misused for partisan purposes, they need technical capacity which survives changes of government, and they need protection against being used to impair the capacity of future governments to govern.

Abstract: How are performance-based arrangements at the individual level related to performance management arrangements at higher levels such as the agency or programme level? The report aims to provide practical lessons and insights into performance-based arrangements for senior civil servants, derived from country and practitioner experiences, into how to place senior staff within what might constitute an integrated performance regime. It is meant to be applicable to countries starting to work with such arrangements, as well as to countries wanting to improve their existing systems.

Abstract: This report presents detailed results on the quality of regulatory management systems, following the survey conducted in 2005-6. The goal of this report is to compare regulatory quality assurance systems; to measure progress and understand trends over time across countries, and to identify general patterns of regulatory management practice.

Abstract: The need for more differentiated pay setting in the public sector is probably the most important driver behind decentralisation. Both the labour market and the public activities have become less homogeneous, and public administrations need – just like any other employer – to develop pay-setting arrangements that are sufficiently flexible to enable an adaptation of pay systems and pay structures.

Abstract: The consequences of an ageing workforce are magnified in the public sector because it generally has an older demographic profile than the private sector (OECD, 2006). The challenge of attracting and retaining capacity within the public service as large numbers of experienced public servants retire is set to be a growing concern in many OECD countries. This report looks at the degree to which pension reform may be assisting in meeting this challenge....

Abstract: This Working Paper compiles a set of recent comparable OECD data on revenues, inputs, and public sector processes and proposes a way forward in data collection. It is the first of three annual Working Papers as the Public Governance and Territorial Development (GOV) Directorate of the OECD builds up to the first publication of a major biennial publication, “Government at a Glance”, in late 2009. It is accompanied by a volume entitled “Measuring Government Activity” that sets out the proposed approach and that poses technical alternatives for expert review and comment. The first part of this volume provides a comprehensive exposition of the proposed data classification and analysis.


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