The Canadian Federal Government’s Experience with Prudent Budget Planning (Working Paper 42)
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The Liberal government made three significant changes to the budget process during the twelve years that it held office (from 1993 to the election call in the winter of 2005). The first of these changes was the formal introduction of prudent budget planning. The second was a focus on reallocation, beginning with its 1994 Program Review initiative, followed by a series of other measures. The third was the introduction for fiscal 2003-04 of a full accrual basis for the budget (though not, it should be noted, full accrual budgeting) and for the Public Accounts. This paper focuses predominantly on the first of these changes and examines its impact on the government’s budget and expenditure management decision-making processes.