The budget is a central policy document of government, showing how annual and multi-annual objectives will be prioritized and achieved. Alongside other instruments of government policy – such as laws, regulation and joint action with other actors in society – the budget aims to turn plans and aspirations into reality. More than this, the budget is a contract between citizens and state, showing how resources are raised and allocated for the delivery of public services. The experience of recent years has underlined how good budgeting is supported by, and in turn supports, the various pillars of modern public governance: transparency, integrity, openness, participation, accountability and a strategic approach to planning and achieving national objectives. Budgeting is thus an essential keystone in the architecture of trust between states and their citizens.
Against this background, the objective of this Recommendation is to 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 Public Governance Committee and other areas of the OECD, as well as those of the international budgeting community more generally. The Recommendation provides a concise overview of good practices across the full spectrum of budget activity, specifying in particular ten principles of good budgetary governance, which give clear guidance for designing, implementing and improving budget systems to meet the challenges of the future.