Finance Minister Ignacio Briones today announced an Agenda for Better Public Spending. At the announcement, he was accompanied by the Minister of Social Development and the Family, Sebastián Sichel; the President of the Senate, Jaime Quintana; the Undersecretary for Social Evaluation , Alejandra Candia; and the Budget Director, Matías Acevedo.
“We have a moral duty to assure Chileans that, after their contribution to us through their taxes, we have evaluation mechanisms to ensure that spending goes in the right direction and is a transparent process; in other words, to ensure that each 100 pesos that Chileans give us in the form of taxes goes in full to those who need most need it and is not lost on the way,” said Ignacio Briones.
He explained that the Agenda calls for a state policy to improve transparency, control and accountability, with citizens as the ultimate focus.
The Agenda envisages a first three concrete steps towards Better Public Spending:
1. The creation of a Ministerial Advisory Commission for the Transparency, Quality and Impact of Public Spending, also referred to as the Public Spending Commission (CGP).
2. A protocol of agreement between the Ministry of Finance, the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies to move towards better spending and budgeting.
3. The strengthening of the technical teams of the Budget Office and the Finance Ministry so as to implement measures to improve public spending.
Minister Briones added that, in this task, a key role will be played by the Budget Office - which must review its evaluation system and make changes in the budgetary process - and the Ministry of Social Development and the Family (MDSF) which, through the Undersecretariat for Social Evaluation, assesses the efficiency, effectiveness and targeting of social spending.
“The current economic and social context provides the government, the political world and civil society with a unique opportunity to agree on how to spend public resources better and be able to address social emergencies opportunely,” said Budget Director Matías Acevedo.
The Minister of Social Development, Sebastián Sichel, added that “it is essential to assess properly how much administrative spending is entailed in a social policy and to accelerate the work we are doing so that the resources go directly to people’s pockets.”
“Today, Chile’s social policy comprises 448 programs and we want to ensure that all these initiatives reach those who most need them in the best possible way,” said the Undersecretary for Social Evaluation, Alejandra Candia.