The Court of Auditors (TC) concludes that greater effectiveness is needed in the public sector for a sustainable management of public funds, in an audit report, released this Wednesday. In addition, the TC concludes that health and education are areas that more often exceed the expenditure limit.
According to a communiqué from the TC, the “Multiannual Budget Planning Framework (MFP) approved for the period 2016-2019 has only fulfilled a formal mission to identify benchmarks for central government expenditure in the medium term”.
The TC also says that, in practice, it was a review of the annual budget “as opposed to the way of framing expenditure on a multi-year horizon”. “There is also no clear link to budget goals and public policy priorities,” the note adds.
The multi-year and/or medium-term perputado has been recommended for more than a decade by prayers such as the OECD, the IMF and the European Union (EU) itself.
In the Portuguese case, three QPPO have been observed since 2011, but the TC identified “constraints to its effectiveness as a multi-annual public instrument, since the information required by the Law of Budgetary framework, namely with regard to medium-term policies and their impact on the sustainability of public finances, foreseen in other documents of the second process”.
In addition to this conclusion, the report, which includes a parallel audit with six other Courts of Auditors and similar institutions in the EU, points out that despite the limits being met, the budget programs “Basic and Secondary Education and School Administration” and “Health” were systematically exceeded the respective limits.
Thus, the TC recommends to the Ministry of Economy that it implements a “medium-term second frame realization and monitoring process” with all the necessary documentation and also that it prepare “mandatory programming documents that contain objective and complete information on the revisions carried out to spending limits”.
The TC also recommends that the Government implement “programme budgeting, to be made public in 2024, in conjunction with the medium-term public framework, materializing a necessary connection between the second and policy dimensions in an effective instrument for the multiannual management of public expenditures “