Evidence-Based Budgetary Policy: Speaking Truth to Power?
The relationship between policy analysis and public budgeting has spurred quite some debate since the 1960s when Robert McNamara, secretary of Defense in de the Kennedy administration, launched his Planning Programming Budgeting System [PPBS] in an effort to improve the allocation of resources and efficiency in the public sector. More recently, we have witnessed a revival of performance budgeting due to the NPM-movement that served as a vehicle to serve old wine in a new bottle, and arguably quite a powerful one. The bouquet is fine as the negotiations about next year’s budget are now flavored by performance information. However, the aftertaste is somewhat backward as the constraint of performance budgeting have become clear. In this chapter we are looking back at this period of about 50 years of budgetary reform in order to assess the progress that we have made since the first efforts to establish a more evidence-based fiscal policy.