EGPA edition:2013 location:Edinburgh date:11-13 September 2013
Performance based or output based budgeting frequently plays a significant role in the attempt to modernize local governments’ management. New regulations both in Flanders (i.e. the Order regarding the implementation of the Policy and Management Cycle issued in 2010) and Italy (i.e. the Decree on productivity, efficiency and transparency in the public sector, issued in 2009, and the New Budget Regulation, issued in 2011) try to push forward results oriented management in local governments and to install some sort of performance based budgeting. To understand the implementation of performance based budgeting in these local governments and to simultaneously take into account the diversified concept this could represent, a diversified measurement instrument is necessary. To this end, an adapted version of the OECD Performance Budgeting Survey (OECD, 2011) is utilized. After explaining the adaptations made to the original OECD Survey and building on the framework of “Managing Performance” of Bouckaert and Halligan (2008), this paper elaborates on the results from eight interviews performed in both Flemish and Italian municipalities. The scores shed light on the state of affairs of performance based budgeting in the municipalities examined. The paper concludes with reflecting on the survey that should continue the examination made, albeit informed by the results of the interviews done. Ideally, this survey allows for an international examination and comparison of performance based budgeting practices in other local governments too. This could mean an important step in mapping the modernization of local government financial management.