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In the context of English-speaking countries, the term agency is used as an umbrella concept for different forms of what is called in the Dutch context "privatisation" (i.e. devolution and delegation of power to more autonomous bodies). To assist in understanding the Dutch situation, this paper will discuss first a conceptual framework which runs as a thread through this chapter...
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One of the major challenges faced by transitional economies has been to adjust institutions that were designed to function in a planning environment to function in an increasingly market-oriented environment. One of the most important of these institutional reforms has been the restructuring of the budget system. The latter should be interpreted quite widely to encompass the institutional framework as well as the administrative
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Canada’s experience in creating new organisational forms for service delivery is a product of its distinct culture and its political form, federalism. In 1867, Canada adopted a federal form of government. Because the new country included diverse linguistic, cultural and regional communities, federalism was seen as a compromise between full integration of the independent colonies and the status quo. Its champions thought that it would
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This paper reviews the theory and the rhetoric for accrual accounting and budgeting by government. Reference is made to generally accepted accounting practice (GAAP) in New Zealand. An historical summary is provided of 12 years of accrual budgets and, using this as a base, assessments are made of the actual benefits that have been achieved...
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Federal budget procedures in the United States require forecasts and projections over several distinct periods of time: short term (18-24 months ahead), medium term (both 5- and 10-year horizons), and long term (as much as 75 years in the future). In the United States, the intermediate estimates have taken on increased significance with many press accounts referring to 10-year estimates. In addition to various time periods, the
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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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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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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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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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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,