The macroeconomic picture suggests that the only viable option for maintaining a given level of public services for transition countries facing revenue volatility or shortfalls is to optimize public spending so that expenditures may be reduced while minimizing disruptions to the provision of government services. This, in turn, means that efforts must be made to ensure that public services are adequately prioritized and delivered as efficiently as possible. This paper takes a broad look at expenditure policies in the Republic of Kazakhstan in light of these issues, seeking both an overall evaluation and a consideration of options for improvement. Included are discussions of privatization and the changing public role of government, the choice of budget priorities among competing programs, and opportunities for creating a budget atmosphere conducive to proper expenditure management in volatile fiscal environments. The paper proceeds from the perspective of Kazakhstan, but the hope is that the experiences there will offer valuable lessons for other economies in transition.
Working Paper Number 01-09.