Budgetary data in PNG: taking the long view
By Rohan Fox and Stephen Howes
The Development Policy Centre is proud to publish the PNG Budget Information Database, a spreadsheet which compiles information from PNG government budgets from 1989 to 2017.
There is lots of budgetary information available in PNG, but most of it is available in the annual budgets. Budgets can be difficult to navigate and make sense of in and of themselves. Piecing different budgets together and comparing them over time is time-consuming, but important to understand what is really going on.
Now you can find the data all in one place.
Taking a longer-term view, back to 1989, is pretty interesting. Adjusting for inflation, per capita revenue and expenditure (excluding interest) are today the same levels as almost thirty years ago! Of course the population has almost doubled since 1989, but many expenditures need to increase with population for service delivery to keep up (think of teachers, doctors, police and much infrastructure). Also think about how expectations have grown relative to 1989, for example, how much is given to MPs through the District Services Improvement Program (DSIP). But all the old services (health, education, police) are still required. No wonder fiscal pressure in PNG is so intense right now.
Revenue and expenditure per capita, 1989 to 2016
The PNG Budget Information Database has been compiled to be in the same format as the original budget documents and compiles information about revenue, expenditure, GDP, inflation, finance and debt from Volume 1 of successive budgets. Importantly, we also show you how you can straddle the recent changes in budgetary accounting conventions and rules.
The database is freely available online to any member of the public, government, NGO, media or researcher for their own analysis and comparisons over time.
The numbers are often especially useful for comparing to the most recent budgetary information. We’ll be updating the database twice yearly: when the Final Budget Outcome (FBO) is released (which should be very soon) and then at budget time.
Rohan Fox is the primary author of this database, but many people at the Development Policy Centre have collaborated over several years and contributed many hours to produce the database. Our thanks to them all.
So please, download the database, use it, and forward it to interested colleagues and friends. Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org if you spot any errors or have any suggestions.
Rohan Fox is a Research Officer at the Development Policy Centre. Stephen Howes is the Centre’s Director.
Figure notes: Look at the “Analysis” tab in the database to see how the figure was constructed.