Editor’s Foreword by Virginie Madelin, Managing Director of the IGPDE

Simplifying administrative burdens to reduce costs

Many simplification initiatives are driven by a resolve to reduce the cost of administrative burdens to businesses and other public service users. Pamela Herd and Donald Moynihan look beyond standard cost models and other cost accounting methods and show that, in fact, users – especially vulnerable groups – encounter learning costs, compliance costs and psychological costs when faced with burdensome procedures. They argue that these costs can only be managed – and, therefore, reduced – if they are evaluated as a matter of course.

Celebrating 100 years of the Budget Directorate

The Budget Directorate was created in 1919, exactly a century ago. To mark this special occasion, and to pay tribute to this custodian of sound public management, this issue features a joint interview with Amélie Verdier, Budget Director, and Nicolas Berland, professor at Université Paris-Dauphine. The fascinating discussion between two experts, one a practitioner, the other a researcher, explores the latest developments in budgeting in the public and private sectors. This issue also includes an article by Prof. Berland, in which he discusses how the “beyond budgeting” principle is prompting companies to simplifying budgeting practices and link them to strategy. He also draws parallels between this private-sector movement and the Constitutional Bylaw on Budget Acts (LOLF). As well as reflecting on the past, we felt this 100-year anniversary was a good opportunity to analyse current trends and look ahead to the future.

I hope you enjoy reading this issue.

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