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In Canada, the government’s stated intention to integrate performance information into the annual budget process builds on a history of two successful ad hoc programme review exercises between 1995/96 and 1998/99. These reviews used performance information along with other information to reduce expenditure. In the first review, the centre established targets for departmental spending cuts and criteria to guide departments in selecting the programmes to be cut. These criteria included information on the efficiency and effectiveness of programmes.

IMPLEMENTATION APPROACHES TO PERFORMANCE BUDGETING can be summarised as the alternatives between top-down versus bottom-up, comprehensive versus partial, and incremental versus “big bang”. 1. Legal framework Some countries (the United States) introduced their reforms through legislation. Other countries such as Canada have a mixture of legislation and formal policy guidelines. Still others (the United Kingdom) have not enacted the reforms in legislation; instead the central ministries issue formal requirements and guidelines.

INTEGRATING AND USING PERFORMANCE INFORMATION... Some countries have followed a formal approach, in which the MOF requires ministries to present performance plans and/or performance results along with their spending proposals while other countries have no formal requirements guiding how PI will be used in budget negotiations. When PI is part of the budget negotiation process, a key question is how it is used. PI can be used by the MOF for planning purposes and/or accountability purposes. In both these cases there is an issue about how PI should be linked to funding.

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