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Budgeting and public expenditures

Spending Reviews

 

Spending reviews are tools for developing, assessing, recommending and adopting policy options by analysing the government’s existing expenditure. They link these options to the budget process. The purposes of a spending review include:

  • Enabling the government to manage the aggregate level of expenditure.
  • Aligning expenditure according to the priorities of the government.
  • Improving effectiveness within programmes and policies.

Almost all of the OECD countries use spending reviews, although practices differ across countries. Spending reviews may be comprehensive in nature and focus on the total government expenditures, or they may be more specific and focus on expenditures in specific sectors or areas. They also vary in frequency and duration. 

 

OECD Best Practices for Spending Reviews

 

The OECD Best Practices for Spending Reviews highlight core features common to the successful use of spending reviews. They draw on the experiences of OECD member countries and focus on how to carry out such reviews:

  • Formulate clear objectives and specify the scope of spending reviews
  • Identify distinct political and public service roles in the review process
  • Set up clear governance arrangements throughout the review process
  • Ensure alignment with the budget process
  • Implement recommendations in an accountable and transparent manner
  • Ensure full transparency of spending review reports and the review framework
  • Update the spending review framework periodically

 

Recent publications

 

OECD Best Practices for Spending Reviews (coming soon)

  • This report highlights the best practices for Spending Reviews based on the OECD countries experience.

Spending Reviews in OECD countries (coming soon)

  • This report provides an overview of Spending Review practices across OECD countries based on 38 country responses from the 2021 OECD Spending Review Survey.   

 

Country projects

 

OECD is supporting member countries in implementing Spending Reviews by providing technical assistance.

 

Completed country projects and projects in progress:

  • Improving Spending Review framework in Estonia;
  • Improving the Spending Review framework in Greece;
  • Introducing Spending Reviews in the Czech Republic and supporting a pilot review;
  • Three projects in Belgium on improving the Spending Review framework (Federal level, Walloon region and French Community);
  • Improving the Spending Review framework in Poland and supporting a pilot review in two ministries.

 

Presentations

 

OECD Best Practices for Spending Reviews (Virtual SBO Working Party on Performance and Results meeting, November 2021)

Gender Perspective in Spending Reviews (Virtual SBO Network on Gender Budgeting meeting, May 2021)

 

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