OECD Praises Austrian Reform

Austria leads developed countries in administrative reform according to the latest study published in late Jun. by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that covered 34 member and two non-member states.

The report, entitled Government at a Glance 2011 and issued by the Directorate for Public Governance and Territorial Development, consists of nearly 60 indicators that assess administrative performance in both political and institutional contexts, including revenues, expenditures, employment and compensation measured since 2009.

Report results attest the need for a fiscal re-evaluation of public spending in some countries, after the attempt to stabilize the economy following the financial crisis caused an overall rise in costs from 40% to over 45% in just four years.

“With citizens in many countries questioning administrative effectiveness and given the pressing fiscal constraints, governments have no choice but to reform,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría.

Among specific indicators, Austria ranks first among all other industrial nations in cutting administrative expenses. Between 2000 and 2008, it has lowered state-run activity by 2.1%, reaching a quota of 11.4%, considerably lower than the OECD average of 15%.

Mostly as a result of thorough divestment in the health sector, primarily in the average length of stay for acute care in hospitals, the achievement is also partly due to the engagement of public officials, who work longer hours for lower salaries than in other OECD countries.

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