What do we do?

The Council for Budget Responsibility was formed in 2012 as an independent body set up to monitor and evaluate the fiscal performance of the Slovak Republic. Through its expertise and the use of state-of-the-art analytical tools, the CBR will be holding a mirror up to the government, improve public awareness in the area of public finances, and facilitate better decision-making in the parliament.

The main tasks of the CBR are defined in Constitutional Act No. 493/2011 on Fiscal Responsibility  and cover four important areas:

  1. Each year, the CBR prepares the Report on the Long-Term Sustainability of Public Finances, pointing at potential issues which might induce excessive debt growth under the present budgetary policy setup. The report seeks to determine the extent to which the current fiscal burdens are being passed on to future generations.
  2. The CBR submits to the parliament the Report on Compliance with the Fiscal Responsibility and Fiscal Transparency Rules. The report seeks to answer the question of whether the government respects its own fiscal rules, and whether or not the data are obfuscated and/or transparency is compromised.
  3. The CBR may, acting on its own initiative or if invited to do so by a parliamentary caucus, draw up its own opinions on the legislative proposals submitted to the parliament. The purpose of these opinions is, in particular, to scrutinise the impact of such proposals on the long-term sustainability of public finances and their budgetary consequences. The parliament will thus have an independent opinion to feed into the law-making process.
  4. The CBR also performs other activities related to the monitoring and assessment of how public finances develop. In other words, the CBR provides information on potential risks, presents alternative scenarios and, for example, puts forward suggestions on how to improve the methodology for the calculation of various indicators in the area of public finances.

As of 1st January 2014, the amended Act No. 523/2004 on general government budgetary rules has defined additional new tasks of the CBR. The Act implements the provisions of the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union, i.e. a fiscal rule on the structural balance including a correction mechanism in case of non-compliance into national legislation. The CBR will:

  1. assess and publish evaluations of activation of the correction mechanism in case of significant deviation from the medium-term budgetary objective or the path towards it;
  2. assess and publish evaluations of circumstances for triggering and exiting escape clauses that suspend the correction mechanism.

Should the need arise, the CBR may also perform other activities stipulated in the Act. In the pursuit of its mandate, the CBR publishes (on its website) the methodology as well as studies relating to the analytical tools employed by the CBR.

The results of the CBR’s budget implementation are published through Annual Reports submitted to the National Bank of Slovakia which, under law, funds the CBR’s activities.

Similar independent fiscal institutions or budget councils can be found in many OECD countries.