Budget Rules and Flexibility in the Public Sector: Towards a Taxonomy

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    The practices and norms of public budgeting have often been seen as a brake on the flexibility needed of government organisations. This remains true despite historically significant financial management reforms designed around budgetary devolution. Seeing flexibility as operating along two dimensions - devolution and discretion - this paper revisits the underlying features of traditional public budgeting to develop a taxonomy of six generic 'budget rules'. By isolating key properties of budget control, the paper uses two of the more prominent rules - annuality and purpose - to illustrate how the rules interact to generate control capacity, as well as the scope for rule variability in promoting increased flexibility.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)232-256
    JournalFinancial Accountability and Management
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


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