Since 2005, the Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability tool has been widely used in developing countries and emerging economies to evaluate the performance of public financial management systems. In this article, we assess the strengths and weaknesses of the Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability instrument tool for evaluating public financial accountability. We examine the theoretical literature on public accountability in order to derive a suitable normative framework to assess the Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability tool. However, given that this literature is based on experiences in developed countries, we must extend it to also take into account the political cultures and practices in developing countries. Using this extended framework, we assess the Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability indicators related to, in particular, parliamentary committees for financial oversight and Supreme Audit Institutions. We conclude that the Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability tool could devote more attention to the independence of Supreme Audit Institutions, the nature of accountability debates, democratic inclusion and horizontal accountability mechanisms Points for practitioners: The Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability tool has been applied in more than 116 countries and its reports offer valuable information for practitioners and researchers around the world. It is the only publicly available data set that measures the performance of financial committees of parliament and Supreme Audit Institutions. The strengths and weaknesses revealed in this article should be taken into account when using the Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability tool for research or for evaluating the quality of financial accountability systems in particular countries. The international financial institutions and donor agencies governing the Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability Secretariat can use the recommendations of this article to further improve the framework.

Additional Metadata
Keywords accountability, democracy, developing countries, public administration, public finance
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1177/0020852315597773, hdl.handle.net/1765/103769
Journal International Review of Administrative Sciences: an international journal of comparative public administration
Citation
Loozekoot, A.T.A, & Dijkstra, G. (2017). Public accountability and the Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability tool: an assessment. International Review of Administrative Sciences: an international journal of comparative public administration, 83(4), 806–825. doi:10.1177/0020852315597773