Budgeting and public expenditures

Principles of Budgetary Governance


Budgetary Governance

Budgetary governance is the process of formulating the annual budget, overseeing its implementation and ensuring its alignment with public goals.


The Recommendation on Budgetary Governance sets out ten principles which provide concise overview of good practices across the full spectrum of budget activity and aim to give practical guidance for designing, implementing and improving budget systems to make a positive impact on citizens’ lives.


The Recommendation also underpins the importance of the budget principles to other aspects of good public governance, including integrity, open data, achievement of strategic goals, and the promotion of trust between citizens and government.

The ten principles are:

  1. Manage budgets within clear, credible and predictable limits for fiscal policy.

  2. Closely align budgets with the medium-term strategic priorities of government.  

  3. Design the capital budgeting framework in order to meet national development needs in a cost-effective and coherent manner.

  4. Ensure that budget documents and data are open, transparent and accessible.

  5. Provide for an inclusive, participative and realistic debate on budgetary choices.    

  6. Present a comprehensive, accurate and reliable account of the public finances.

  7. Actively plan, manage and monitor budget execution.

  8. Ensure that performance, evaluation and value for money are integral to the budget process.

  9. Identify, assess and manage prudently longer-term sustainability and other fiscal risks.

  10. Promote the integrity and quality of budgetary forecasts, fiscal plans and budgetary implementation through rigorous quality assurance including independent audit.


Download the Recommendation




These principles draw together the lessons of a decade and more of work by the OECD Working Party of Senior Budget Officials (SBO) and its associated Networks, along with the contributions and insights from other areas of the OECD and of the international budgeting community more generally. 



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