Analysis of the impact of changing economic fortunes on local budgets has shown the relevance of the Committee of Ministers Recommendations on financial and budgetary management at local and regional levels and on financial resources of local and regional authorities.

Good local government depends on sufficient financial resources and good financial management procedures that enable local authorities to offer services adjusted to their citizen’s expectations. The Centre of Expertise Local Finance Benchmarking, addressed to local and central authorities, supports evidence-based decision-making thus helping them make best use of available resources.

The local component of this tool was first piloted in Bulgaria and subsequently tested in Ukraine. It was further improved in response to the economic crisis and used in 2013 in municipalities from Greece, Portugal and Spain, with the support of the Open Society Foundations and the Council of European Municipalities and Regions. In 2014-2015, the tool was adapted and piloted in the Basque Country in cooperation with EUDEL. The central component of the tool is currently being implemented in Greece under a joint CoE-EU project.

Local finance benchmarking: a shared tool for improved financial management

Benchmarking as a management tool is used primarily for diagnostic purposes. For businesses and public service organizations it helps to identify the areas of intervention and to prioritize development actions for better performance and increased effi ciency. In public policy making benchmarking provides evidence for decision makers through scoring and ranking.

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