(Originally published in October 2008 on the IMF's Blog)
Poland is firmly on the path towards performance budgeting (PB). This was the key message to emerge for a conference on Performance Budgeting—Prospects for Polandwhich was held by the Polish Ministry of Finance in Krakow on 2-3 October. The conference was attended by hundred of delegates from Polish ministries. They were joined by international guests who outlined developments in France, the USA, Canada and Denmark. I represented the IMF, and made a presentation on the relationship between PB, medium-term budgeting and strategic planning.
The conference was held against the background of the assumption by the Ministry of Finance (MoF) of responsibility for the development of PB in Poland. Up to early 2008, the State Chancellery had responsibility for PB, and had developed an shadow program budget (i.e. an indicative budget, with legal appropriations remaining on the traditional organizational and economic classification basis) covering approximately 40 percent of expenditure. The MoF is now continuing this work, with the objective of developing a comprehensive shadow program budget over the coming three years. The intention is that this would cover all expenditure, would be based on a sound program classification, and would include a clear specification of program goals, strategies and performance measures. Consistent with current moves underway to develop the medium-term budget perspective, the program budget will contain three year projections of funding for each program.
The intention is to subsequently move budget appropriations onto a program basis, although no firm timetable has been set for this.
MoF has been very active this year in developing the program classification system and performance measures. A massive training effort is also being undertaken, with over one thousand spending ministry having already received training on the new system. The Polish authorities are receiving significant EU funds over three years for this work.
The work is being lead by the Director of the Public Finance Reform Department of MoF, Marta Postuła, with the oversight of Secretary of State Elżbieta Suchocka-Roguska.