High Level Risk Forum
Paris, 8-9 December 2011
This inaugural meeting of the High Level Risk Forum gathered over 90 Delegates from 25 countries, including all G7 countries, the European Commission, as well as representatives from major global companies, and from the WEF.
It discussed National Risk Assessments: optimizing capabilities to manage risks and build resilience as well as Risk Communication, including Crisis communication and raising awareness.
Participants also considered strategic orientations for the forum, including the potential usefulness of OECD Principles on country risk management as well as possible options for future work. Mexico confirmed its commitment to proceed with a national review of its Civil Protection System.
The Forum also included a special seminar on the Great East Japan earthquake, introduced by Mr. Motohide Yoshikawa, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Japan to the OECD, featuring Mr. Makoto Yamazaki, as a Member of the Diet.
The seminar considered the experience of the events in Japan as well as alternative strategies for reconstruction.
Webcast is available at:
Delegates at the High Level Risk Forum
7th Meeting of the SBO Network on Performance and Results
Paris, 9-10 November 2011
The meeting was attended by senior budgetary officials responsible for performance budgeting systems from 31 countries as well as from the IMF, the World Bank, and the European Space Agency. Performance information plays an important role for informing decision-making, and for aligning performance expectations The discussions focused on the strengths and limits of such information, at a time when some countries are moving beyond, towards a separation of the performance budgeting and management functions.
Delegates recognised that spending reviews are among the best tools to directly inform budgetary allocation decisions, but that they can also be administratively heavy. The design and timing of reviews therefore need to match their objectives and level of political buy-in.
Participants also discussed the challenges around making performance information public. Balancing accuracy, analysis and utility with timeliness remains a challenge, as is providing transparency in the face of more and more information being generated by government.
Fewer, but more relevant indicators are needed, and cultural change within government to focus on developing performance information that focuses on impact, rather than visibility for individual programmes. The meeting also discussed Performance Budgeting in Poland as well as the SBO Performance Budgeting questionnaire which will be sent out in mid-December.
1st Meeting of the Senior Budget Official (SBO) Network on Health Expenditures
Paris, 21-22 November 2011
This was the first meeting organised jointly by the Senior Budget Officials Working Party and the OECD Health Committee to discuss the fiscal sustainability of the health sector, the second largest area of public expenditure in OECD countries after social spending.
The meeting attracted officials from 24 member countries as well as from the Asian Development Bank, the European Commission, the World Bank, and the World Health Organisation, representing ministries of health, ministries of finance, and social security institutions, Participants identified four main areas of interest for future work:
- identifying key indicators for monitoring efficiency in the health sector;
- balancing short- and long-term fiscal policy considerations in the health sector, e.g., the relationship between expenditure forecasting and actual spending;
- creating fiscal space for health, including using budget mechanisms to help achieve health targets;
analyzing instruments (both budget and sectoral) for cost containment.
- The meeting highlighted the potential and value for horizontal cooperation across Committees, and participants expressed the wish for such co-operation between the Public Governance Senior Budget Officials and Health Committees to be continued in the future.