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Evaluation in Budgeting and Public Expenditure

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Presentation by Ronnie Downes, Budgeting and Public Expenditures Division, OECD, at the 9th Conference on Measuring Regulatory Performance - Closing the Regulatory Cycle: Effective ex post Evaluation for Improved Policy Outcomes which took place in Lisbon on 20-21 June 2017. Further information is available at

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Evaluation in Budgeting and Public Expenditure

  1. 1. Introduction to closed-door workshop EVALUATION IN BUDGETING AND PUBLIC EXPENDITURE 9th OECD Conference on Measuring Regulatory Performance Lisbon, 20-21 June 2017 Processes and institutions for effective ex post evaluation Ronnie DOWNES Deputy Head, Budgeting and Public Expenditures Division, OECD
  2. 2. Ensure that performance, evaluation and value-for- money are integral to the budget process - objective, routine and regular evaluation and review of expenditure programmes - to inform resource allocation and re-prioritisation - within line ministries and across government as a whole Ex ante evaluations of all new policy proposals Periodic spending reviews OECD Principles of Modern Budgeting
  3. 3. Part of the broader “policy matrix”
  4. 4. Which organisations are responsible for conducting evaluations? Institutional responsibility: Evaluation is relatively “decentralised” 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% Line Ministries / agencies CBA SAI Other external body Evaluation service Legislature
  5. 5. Impact of ex post evaluations on budget decisions? 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 Always Usually Occasionally Rarely Never NumberofOECDrespondents Used in CBA-Line Ministry negotiations Used in Line Ministry-Agency negotiation
  6. 6. • Time delay limits relevance for policy – a particular feature of “in depth”, high quality evaluations • Bureaucratic burden: a drain on resources • Limited impact: issue of capacity or political / administrative incentives? Perceived challenges in the conduct and impact of evaluations
  7. 7. Source: 2016 OECD Performance Budgeting Survey 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 20082009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 No.ofspending reviewsacrossOECD respondentseachyear Comprehensive (20-100% of total government spending) Broad (5-20% of total government spending) Narrow (0-5% of total government spending) Spending Reviews are on the rise
  8. 8. • CBA linkage strengthens budgetary impact – true also for individual evaluations • effective Spending Reviews draw upon the ongoing body of evaluation work – supplemented with focused, streamlined “high- impact” evaluations, e.g. on cross-cutting issues • Periodic reviews allow linkage to political cycle – realignment of priorities Some lessons from Spending Review
  9. 9. • Ex ante and ex post evaluation – alternatives, or two sides of same coin? • Scope for more coherent approach: performance, evidence-based policy, frameworks for addressing “inclusive growth” • Where to aim for on the spectrum? Coherence  Alignment  Integration Current research questions