Managing the public balance sheet

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Dec 15, 2017

In December 2017, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England (ICAEW) published a new policy insight in the better government series – Managing the Public Balance Sheet.

This Policy Insight aims to help public officials understand what is in their Balance Sheets. The value of the information about different sorts of assets and liabilities and how some governments around the world are using it to support more effective policy making. In particular to help government ask the right questions to make the most of their financial information, for example:

  • What assets do they have and are they getting the best use out of them?
  • Should government’s increase or decrease investment?
  • What are their liabilities and how are they going to settle or service them?
  • Could refinancing offer opportunities to save money?
  • How fast are liabilities increasing relative to income and could heir growth be slowed?
  • What is the long term impact of decisions with financial consequences beyond the next year?
  • This policy insight draws on the balance sheet information published in the UK’s Whole of Government Accounts and financial reports published by the Australian, Canadian, French, German and New Zealand governments to highlight areas where better balance sheet management can help governments to use resources more effectively.

Review the announcement and publication on the ICAEW's website.

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