Os conselhos orçamentais – organismos independentes que escrutinam a gestão das contas públicas – estão na moda. Há cada vez mais entidades deste género e o próprio mundo académico começa a mostrar interesse nos resultados que estes organismos permitem alcançar.
O FMI dá agora um contributo para este ramo de investigação, com a publicação de uma extensa base de dados: o Fiscal Council Dataset elenca o número de conselhos orçamentais espalhados pelo globo e detalha com rigor as suas funções e capacidades, desde o enquadramento legal até ao grau de independência. Um resumo da base de dados, e das principais conclusões, pode ser obtido no working-paper Fiscal Councils on the rise: a new dataset.
This paper compiles a unique dataset summarizing key characteristics of existing fiscal councils across the IMF membership and draws from this new dataset to investigate the role of fiscal councils in fostering fiscal discipline. The dataset illustrate that the number of fiscal councils has surged since the crisis. Existing fiscal councils cover a wide variety of possible institutional forms and differ greatly in terms of remits and tasks. Ultimately the design of effective councils should reflect country-specific characteristics, such as available human and financial resources, political traditions, and the specific causes for excessive deficits and debts.
The empirical analysis suggests that only well-designed fiscal councils are associated with stronger fiscal performance as well as more accurate and less biased forecasts. Key features for effective fiscal councils include an operational independence from politics, the provision or public assessment of budgetary forecasts, a strong presence in the public debate, and an explicit role in monitoring fiscal policy rules. The paper also adds to the existing evidence about the discipline enhancing role of fiscal rules, using a much broader sample of countries than previous studies, and suggests that fiscal councils could complement rules in promoting sound policies.
Fiscal rules and fiscal councils represent institutional solutions to countries’ quest for more credible fiscal policy following the crisis. In particular, fiscal councils could help address the inherent inflexibility that tends to undermine the credibility of fiscal rules. Fiscal councils can encourage greater fiscal discipline by fostering fiscal transparency and stimulating a productive public debate on fiscal issues.
O FMI já tinha sido pioneiro na compilação de informação acerca de regras orçamentais (Fiscal rules dataset), estatísticas de longo prazo de finanças públicas (Historical Public Debt database), choques fiscais (Action based dataset of fiscal consolidation) e artifícios contabilísticos (Accounting devices and fiscal illusions).