TARGET GROUP | Mid-level to senior officials who make or support fiscal policy decisions. Participants should have considerable experience in fiscal policy institutions.
DESCRIPTION | This one-week course, presented by the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department, examines the role of strong fiscal institutions and fiscal governance in ensuring fiscal sustainability. Drawing on international country experiences, it covers three main areas: medium-term budgetary frameworks, fiscal rules, and fiscal councils. The course discusses how a medium-term perspective in budgeting can improve fiscal discipline and expenditure control and surveys the preconditions necessary if the framework is to deliver the intended results. The course also discusses the main elements of a medium-term budget and the relationship with fiscal rules.
In particular, the course covers the following:
• The properties of different types of fiscal rules
• Specific design features, such as choice of the target variable, escape clauses, automatic correction mechanisms, timing, issues of coordination between central and subnational governments
• A special focus on structural budget balance rules, such as those requested by the EU Fiscal Compact (calculation, implementation)
The course also explores how nonpartisan agencies might help strengthen fiscal performance by raising public awareness and accountability while leaving scope for policy flexibility.
OBJECTIVES | Upon completion of this course, participants should be able to:
• Describe and explain how the Medium-Term Budgetary Frameworks (MTBF), fiscal rules, and fiscal councils promoting sound fiscal policy, based on international experiences
• Analyze the readiness of countries for MTBF, fiscal rules, and fiscal councils and address barriers to implementation
• Apply acquired knowledge and skills to group-based assessments of real case studies