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THE USE OF PERFORMANCE INFORMATION IN BUDGETARY DECISION-MAKING BY LEGISLATORS: IS ESTONIA ANY DIFFERENT?

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Abstract

The goal of this article is to examine to what extent legislators in Estonia use performance information in budgetary decision-making. Interviews with the members of the finance committee of the parliament show that legislators make only limited use of the formal documents containing performance information. Instead, they rely, for the most part, on informal social networks for gathering information they consider necessary for budget discussions. According to the legislators, the main reasons for limited use of performance information are the following: the documents containing performance are too long and cumbersome, the legislative budget process is too time-constrained, and the parliament has only a limited role in making substantive changes to the budget. The study also indicates that more experienced politicians are less interested in performance information than the novices but there are no significant differences between legislators from governing and opposition parties.

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