The revision of the public expenditure model in Spain: Fide presents the conclusions reached by our Working Group

"Madrid, January 23, 2019.- The Fide Foundation presented this afternoon in Madrid, the Document of Conclusions reached by the Working Group "The revision of the public expenditure model in Spain"."

The budgetary model followed in each country should be a tool at the service of a higher quality of public spending. During the Great Recession, important efforts have been made in Spain to improve the instruments at the service of the discipline of public finances. However, no identical efforts have been made to implement a results-oriented budgeting system, as well as to make the evaluation and control function more relevant. This system is essential if we want to improve the quality of public spending, aimed at ensuring the effectiveness and efficiency of public policies, that is, that they meet the objectives for which they were designed, at the lowest possible cost.

Aware of this situation, the members of the group have met over a year, from October 2017 to September 2018 in several work sessions, in which they have reached a series of proposals whose objective is to take steps towards a model of budget that explains which are the policy objectives that are intended to be fulfilled and that, through the evaluation, allows to know if those are reached and to what extent. These proposals are, in summary, the following:

  • It is necessary to reform budget programming, so that it specifies, in a multi-year framework, which are the policy objectives that are to be achieved, which 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, which defines its objectives with its indicators, activities and allocated resources. There must also be a monitoring and control system for results, not only financial but operational.
  • The budget, at present, is not a comprehensive instrument of all public spending, which hinders its use as a tool for managing expenditure. Therefore, its coordination with the European System of Accounts must be improved by introducing the accrual criterion and the consolidation of a patrimonial inventory.
  • It is necessary to integrate the evaluation in the budget cycle, through its 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 the one hand, there must be a governing body of the evaluation system and, on the other hand, to strengthen the role of Parliament, strengthening the evaluation capacity of the Court of Auditors.
  • Budget reform must reach all levels of government, attributing the basic character to the common legislation of the programming phase, the budget model and the evaluation function.

The Working Group was led by Jesús Rodríguez Márquez, Professor of Financial and Tax Law, Partner and Director of the Tax Practice Area, F & J Martín Abogados, who has collected all the contributions to give form to the conclusions document. in which professionals from the legal, academic and administrative fields have participated. All the people who have participated in this working group of Fide have done so in their personal capacity and not in representation of the entities or institutions where they carry out their professional work, for which reason these conclusions do not reflect and do not collect institutional positions but rather particular ones of each of the group members.

Initial interventions and presentation of the document by:

– Cristina Jiménez Savurido, Fide Foundation President
– Jesús Rodríguez Márquez Professor of Financial and Tax Law, Partner and Director of the Tax Practice Area, F & J Martín Abogados. (Director of the working group)
– Ignacio Bayón Mariné, Legal Advisor to the Council of State and the General Courts
– Juan Antonio Garde Roca, State Treasury Inspector
The following have participated in this Working Group: Emilio Albi Ibáñez, Professor of Public Finance, Universidad Complutense of Madrid; Ignacio Bayón Mariné, Legal Advisor to the Council of State and the General Courts; Laura de Pablos Escobar, Professor of Applied Economics, Universidad Complutense of Madrid; Rafael Domínguez Olivera, Chief State Attorney, Ministry of Public Works; Manuel Fresno Castro, Auditor – State Auditor and currently General Director of Finance and Management Control of ADIF; Juan Antonio Garde Roca, State Treasury Inspector; Paloma Martín Martín, Director of the Social Services and Health, Deloitte Legal; José Ramón Martínez Resano, Economist; David Mellado Ramírez, Partner, PWC. State lawyer on leave of absence, Member of the Academic Council of Fide; Jesús Miranda Hita, Comptroller and Auditor of the State, Tax Inspector, Comptroller-Treasurer of the Local Administration, and Inspector of the Economy and Tax Services; Ignacio Moral Arce, Member of the Institute of Tax Studies; José Alberto Pérez Pérez, State Treasury Inspector, State Comptroller and Auditor and Inspector of the Services of the Ministries of Economy and Finance; Cándido Pérez Serrano, Partner in charge of Infrastructure, Government and Health, KPMG Spain; Jesús Rodríguez-Márquez, Professor of Financial and Tax Law, Partner and Director of the Tax Practice Area, F & J Martín Abogados. (Director of the working group); Rosa Sanz Cerezo, Partner in the area of Public Law, Broseta Abogados; Eduardo Zapico Goñi, Works in the General Intervention of the State Administration.

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