What Do Government Budgets Tell Us? Organization and Reporting of Singapore's Budgetary Accounts

24 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2015

See all articles by Chang Yee Kwan

Chang Yee Kwan

Independent

Azad Singh Bali

National University of Singapore - Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy

Mukul G. Asher

National University of Singapore - Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy

Date Written: October 12, 2015

Abstract

This paper examines the organization and reporting structure of Singapore’s public budgetary accounts and implications for public financial management. The budget’s current reporting scope and structure does not provide an adequate representation of the government’s fiscal position. Subtle divergences from international reporting standards limit the quantity and quality of information available in the budget and constrain its analytical usefulness. In turn, this also undermines the public sector’s transparency and accountability. The fiscal marksmanship record of the Singapore government’s budgetary estimates is assessed and its broader impacts are discussed. A revision of the reported budget balances is undertaken in line with international reporting standards and policy implications are illustrated by considering the provision of a uniform social pension. Recommendations for reporting reforms are proposed to improve the fiscal marksmanship record, increase transparency and accountability and enable the budget to facilitate better quality discourse among all stakeholders on public financial management.

Keywords: Public financial management, Singapore, Fiscal marksmanship, GFSM, Public transparency and accountability

JEL Classification: E62, H6, H8

Suggested Citation

Kwan, Chang Yee and Bali, Azad Singh and Asher, Mukul G., What Do Government Budgets Tell Us? Organization and Reporting of Singapore's Budgetary Accounts (October 12, 2015). Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy Research Paper No. 15-30. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2673410 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2673410

Azad Singh Bali

National University of Singapore - Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy ( email )

Singapore 117591
Singapore

Mukul G. Asher

National University of Singapore - Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy ( email )

Singapore 117591
Singapore
(65) 6778 1020 (Fax)

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