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The review of the public spending model in Spain


During the great recession, all efforts have been aimed at introducing greater and better discipline in the management of public finances. This is logical, since it was thus imposed by the needs of fiscal consolidation. But, once the economic crisis is over, it seems appropriate to reflect on the quality of public spending in Spain. It is not a question of formulating proposals aimed at better controlling the deficit or debt, but rather to implement a results-oriented budget system, as well as to make the evaluation and control function more relevant.


Working Group Proposals Fide: The review of the public spending model in Spain

The Working Group Fide It has met over the course of a year, in seven working sessions, from October 2017 to September 2018. As a result of these sessions, the group raises six proposals, which are set out below, and whose objective is take steps towards a budget model that makes explicit what the policy objectives are to be met and that, through evaluation, makes it possible to know if and to what extent they are achieved.

  • It is necessary to reform budget programming, so that it makes explicit, in a multi-year framework, what are the policy objectives to be achieved, what are the options chosen and the means assigned. All this, incorporating, from this phase, the results of ex ante and ex post evaluations, with transparency towards citizens.
  • It is convenient to introduce a results-oriented budget model in Spain, Define your goals with your assigned indicators, activities and resources. There must also be a monitoring and control system for results, not only financial, but also operational.
  • The budget, at present, is not a comprehensive instrument for all public spending, which makes it difficult to use as a spending management tool. For this reason, its coordination with the European System of Accounts should be improved, introducing the accrual criterion and the consolidation of a heritage inventory.
  • Necessary integrate evaluation into the budget cycle, through his institutionalization, so that its results are used in decision-making.
  • A system like the one proposed requires reforms in the evaluation and control bodies. On one side, there must be a governing body of the evaluation system and, from another, reinforce the role of Parliament, enhancing the evaluation capacity of the Court of Auditors.
  • Budget reform must achieve at all levels of government, attributing the character of basic to the common legislation of the programming phase, of the budget and evaluation function.

Have participated in this working group: 

  • Emilio Albi Ibáñez, Professor of Public Finance, Complutense University of Madrid;
  • Ignacio Bayón Mariné, Lawyer of the Council of State and of the General Courts;
  • Laura de Pablos Escobar, Professor of Applied Economics, Complutense University of Madrid;
  • Rafael Domínguez Olivera, State Attorney-Chief, Ministry of Public Works;
  • Manuel Fresno Castro, Comptroller-State Auditor and currently Director General of Finance and Management Control of ADIF;
  • Juan Antonio Garde Roca, State Treasury Inspector; Paloma Martín Martín, Director of Deloitte Consulting;
  • José Ramón Martínez Resano, Economist;
  • David Mellado Ramírez, Partner, PWC. State Attorney on leave, Member of the Academic Council of Fide;
  • Jesús Miranda Hita, State Controller and Auditor, Treasury Inspector, Inspector-Treasurer of the Local Administration, and Inspector of the Economy and Finance Services;
  • Ignacio Moral Arce, Member of the Institute for Fiscal Studies;
  • José Alberto Pérez Pérez, State Treasury Inspector, State Controller and Auditor and Inspector of the services of the Ministries of Economy and Finance;
  • Cándido Pérez Serrano, Partner Responsible for Infrastructure, Government and Health, KPMG Spain;
  • Jesús Rodríguez Márquez, Prof. Head of Financial and Tax Law, Responsible Partner and Director of the Tax Practice Area, F & J Martín Abogados. (Director of the working group);
  • Rosa Sanz Cerezo, State Attorney, Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation;
  • Eduardo Zapico Goñi, Works in the General Intervention of the State Administration.


All the people who have participated in this working group of Fide, have done so in a personal capacity and not on behalf of the entities, offices, Universities or companies, where they carry out their professional work, so these conclusions do not reflect and do not include institutional positions but rather particular ones of each one of the members of the group.

Group Director

Jesus Rodriguez Marquez

Prof. Head of Financial and Tax Law, Responsible Partner and Director of the Tax Practice Area, F & J Martín Abogados. (Director of the working group);
Academic coordination: Victory Dal Lago


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