Although it is an extensive document, the government’s report on its 2011-2015 term does not contain key information about the cabinet’s financial activities or any possible fiscal and economic consequences and cannot be used as a basis to assess the government’s work and cannot be given a passing grade, analysts from the Institute of Public Finances (IJF) have said.
The two analysts — Anto Bajo from the Institute and Marko Primorac from the Zagreb Faculty of Economics Faculty — find that the report is not informative.
In their review of the Government report on its 2011-2015 term, Bajo and Primorac say that the document adopted at the last session of the cabinet of Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic was prepared only to satisfy that formal obligation defined by law. The law prescribes that when its term ends, a government is obliged to submit a detailed report for the next government coming into power, presenting a state of affairs and possible problems in conducting the business in the government’s competence.
The outgoing government’s 2,259-page report contains an overview of the work of 43 government bodies, i.e. 20 ministries and 23 other bodies such as directorates-general, institutes, agencies, offices and so on with data of the current developments, activities and any contentious issues with recommendations for their resolution and so on.
The analysts, however, underscored that this data was to have been included in regular annual reports from all state bodies with an overview of the work of ministries and their budget beneficiaries as well as an aggregate consolidated report on revenue and expenditure and a balance sheet. They added that the major part of the data noted in the report has been accessible to the public for some time already, such as legislative acts and by-laws.
“This report should just have contained basic (aggregate) indicators upon which an assessment could be made of the measures implemented from the government’s programme for 2011-2015. The report should have contained a summary and statistical data with key fiscal indicators. That would then facilitate a simpler, faster insight for the public of the government’s activities and an assessment of its work,” they said.
Of the data included in the government’s report, the most interesting and most informative would be that of the finance ministry’s assessment of the debt, loans, guarantees and technical reforms of the budget, an estimate of fiscal effect and strategic planning, debts incurred by local government units and the business of non-profit organisations, according to the review.
Other interesting information deals with the Ministry of Economy with regard to plans to implement instructions and recommendations, particularly with regard to the overhaul of shipyards. The Ministry of Health presents an overview of the restructuring of health institutions categorised by salary types, unsettled dues and the business of the Croatian Health Insurance Agency (HZZO).
The two analysts however point out that “even though the information presented about the Finance Ministry is fairly detailed, it is not clear why data about the debt and guarantees does not include the last quarter of 2015 when the most significant direct and indirect dues were created.”
“Apart from that, it would be worthwhile for the caretaker government to prepare a brief report on activities undertaken (and their consequences) since the election was called until the handover to the new government is conducted,” Bajo and Primorac conclude.