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Budget Law - Essay Example

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The growing debate between adoption and implementation of new laws to support budget transparency could be the point of discussion in this essay as there have been n new laws to support public management and legal frameworks in almost every different public sector enterprise in the last few years to improve transparency in the public sector…
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Budget Law
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Download file to see previous pages The case of South Africa and Sweden are especially noted.
According to Lienert(2005) many countries have adopted comprehensive and deep reforms as well new and amended laws to transform the role of the state and the budgeting processes that are involved in the working of the state. The issues that have been highlighted include fiscal transparency and political polarization, performance oriented budgeting and financial accountability. Modifications in the legal framework that have changed the role of the state and the budget processes involved or supporting it could be highlighted yet these modifications seem to have been strongest in countries that rely on laws and decrees to introduce changes The emphasis is on performance oriented budgeting and fiscal transparency and considering that the legal framework does help in shifting emphases to the process of budgeting and methodology, the central role of the legal aspect could be well documented and examined.
However there are many obstacles to the proper working of the legal framework and its implementation to enhance budgeting and these could be differences between countries in terms of political systems and administrative arrangements or even legal cultures that could prevent the budgeting process from being efficient and transparent. ...
Such cycles are usually thought to be present in weak or new democracies although Alt James et al (2006) prove that such electoral cycles could be present in advanced and more industrialized economies as well. The focus on fiscal transparency along with budgeting transparency would bring about questions on the nature of the economy and the kind of legal framework such economies have.
Fiscal Transparency
If the legal frameworks are strong enough, fiscal transparency could be expected. Fiscal transparency has become one of the most important aspects of governance and financial reporting A definition of fiscal transparency is given by Kopits and Craig:
"Fiscal transparency is defined ... as openness toward the public at large about government structure and functions, fiscal policy intentions, public sector accounts, and projections. It involves ready access to reliable, comprehensive, timely, understandable, and internationally comparable information on government activities ... so that the electorate and financial markets can accurately assess the government's financial position and the true costs and benefits of government activities, including their present and future economic and social implications" (1998, p. 1).
The authors use a sample of data from 19 OECD countries in the 1990s, to identify a persistent pattern of electoral cycles both in the low transparency, and largely developing countries, although such cycles could not be observed in high transparency countries. Thus the authors suggest that electoral cycles in fiscal balance could be a feature of many advanced economies but not found in high transparency countries. This highlights the fact that not all advanced and developed economies would have very transparencies although some advanced ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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