IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Financial Management and Control of Public Agencies


  • OECD


All Member States of the EU and countries from Central and Eastern Europe use agencies of various shapes and sizes as part of their system of public administration. The legal forms vary widely from country to country depending on the legal tradition and the system of administration. Public agencies, if properly designed and managed, provide an opportunity for decentralising public administration, achieving greater transparency in government operations, and improving the efficiency and effectiveness with which government services are delivered to end users. Agencies can thus be used for economically and socially beneficial reasons, and indeed are sometimes employed as a stepping stone to more radical options, e.g. the privatisation of government services. However, agencies can also be misused for purposes that contravene the tenets of good governance and sound financial management. They can be a source of inefficiency, unregulated and covert expenditures, political favouritism and corruption. This paper originated in a request from the Ministry of Finance of the Czech Republic for SIGMA advice in developing new legal provisions for the financial management of public agencies. However, this subject cannot be addressed without avoiding the broader context. This paper has expanded well beyond the scope of the original mandate. It highlights the practice and experience of five EU Member States with very different legal systems and administrative structures. It focuses on issues relating to the financial management of public agencies but also discusses, in less detail, other issues concerning legal structures and governance. No single good practice "model" exists in this complex field. International best practice is still evolving. Moreover, we recommend a cautious approach by countries that are tempted to transpose elements of the agency models applied in countries such as New Zealand, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Would-be reformers should consider whether the legal and administrative structures are comparable, and the necessary systems of regulation, control and open reporting are in place and can be enforced. Whilst avoiding simplistic solutions, the paper includes recommendations that policy makers in Central and Eastern Europe should take into account before embarking on major reforms in this area.

Suggested Citation

  • Oecd, 2001. "Financial Management and Control of Public Agencies," SIGMA Papers 32, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:govaac:32-en

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Donate, Mario J. & Sánchez de Pablo, Jesús D., 2015. "The role of knowledge-oriented leadership in knowledge management practices and innovation," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 360-370.
    2. repec:eee:trapol:v:62:y:2018:i:c:p:12-20 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Jack Diamond, 2005. "Reforming the Russian Budget System; A Move to More Devolved Budget Management?," IMF Working Papers 05/104, International Monetary Fund.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oec:govaac:32-en. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.