Performance Measurement Challenges in Switzerland: Lessons from Implementation
This article assesses recent reforms to implement performance budgeting at the national level in Switzerland with emphasis on the necessity for integrating the political dimension. The political context is Switzerland is described as a regulation-driven with fairly liberal but still detailed private and public law, and where the legal basis is the major subject of political influence. In practice, the law is the result of long-term politics while the budget reflects the short-term, actual value of tasks is determined by the legislators. Thereby, a systematic link between legal obligations and financial resources – such as is the case in U.S. programs – does not exist in the traditional form of political steering. In times of financial pressure, this can lead to laws that are not enacted due to a lack of resources. The article analyzes traditional budgeting and contrasts it with results-oriented public management and performance budgeting as manifest in the Swiss model.
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