1. Fiscal transparency refers to the information available to the public about the government’s fiscal policy-making process. It refers to the clarity, reliability, frequency, timeliness, and relevance of public fiscal reporting and the openness of such information.
Budgets and their underlying fiscal forecasts should provide a clear statement of the government’s budgetary objectives and policy intentions, and comprehensive, timely, and credible projections of the evolution of the public finances.
Following successful reforms during the government's initial year in office, the year 2016 proved to be more difficult. The terror attacks in Paris and Brussels had a significant, albeit temporary, effect on the economy. The fiscal strategy veered off track, with a sizeable overshoot of the deficit target. Growth prospects for 2017 and beyond are modest, as in other euro area countries. The Belgian labor market remains severely fragmented.
Timor–Leste’s initial efforts to develop a stable and healthy economy have been interrupted by the civil unrest of the past two years. The security situation remains fragile and an economic burden. The key challenge remains how to manage the abundant petroleum revenue to alleviate near-term social problems and develop a sustainable non-oil economy. Growth has rebounded in 2007, although the civil unrest continues to undermine the economy. Inflation has risen sharply, but remains low relative to regional comparators. Access to financial services remains limited and credit growth has stalled.
Mr. Mark A Horton, Mr. George C. Tsibouris, Wojciech Maliszewski, and Mr. Mark J Flanagan
When policymakers have little option but to consider a sizable fiscal adjustment, they are confronted by the following questions: Can a large fiscal adjustment be implemented succesfully? How is a large adjustment best designed and implemented? What will be its impact on the economy? This Occasional Paper addresses these questions by describing the experience of countries that have undertaken large fiscal adjustments in the last three decades. It provides operational guidance to policymakers by identifying preconditions, common policy approaches, and institutional arrangements underlying successful and unsuccessful adjustment episodes.
The IMF’s Fiscal Transparency Code is the international standard for disclosure of information about public finances and is the centerpiece of the global architecture on fiscal transparency. The Fiscal Transparency Handbook (2018) provides detailed guidance on the implementation of the new Fiscal Transparency Code, which was approved by the IMF Board in 2014. It explains why each principle of the Code is important and describes current trends in implementation of the principles, noting relevant international standards as well. Selected country examples are also provided.
Changes in military expenditure as a share of gross domestic product (MIL/GDP) and of total expenditure (MIL/EX) during IMF-supported programs are examined for two subsamples, broadly divided according to fiscal tightening and fiscal accommodation. Under fiscal tightening, the evidence suggests that MIL/GDP decreases during Fund-supported programs, but that MIL/EX increases, revealing resilience to budgetary adjustments. Under fiscal accommodation, as total government expenditure tends to increase, so does military expenditure; the ratio MIL/EX declines, however, because fewer additional resources are allocated to the military.
Transparency in government operations is widely regarded as an important precondition for macroeconomic fiscal sustainability, good governance, and overall fiscal rectitude. Notably, the Interim Committee, at its April and September 1996 meetings, stressed the need for greater fiscal transparency. Specifically, in the Declaration on Partnership for Sustainable Global Growth, the Committee stated that “it is essential to enhance the transparency of fiscal policy by persevering with efforts to reduce off-budget transactions and quasi-fiscal deficits” (International Monetary Fund, 1996c, p. xii). Prompted by these concerns, this paper represents a first attempt to address many of the aspects of transparency in government operations. It provides an overview of major issues in fiscal transparency and examines the IMF’s role in promoting transparency in government operations. It is, however, not to be viewed as a comprehensive compendium of transparent practices.