Briefing Paper

Making Fiscal Council Work for Ghana: Country Experiences and Best Practice

This paper provides some insights and operational guideposts on the design, scope and implementation of an effective fiscal council in Ghana for stemming fiscal indiscipline and improving fiscal performance. In particular, it looks at recent country experiences with fiscal councils and best practice across the globe that have been successful in reducing fiscal deficits, provides key lessons from those experiences, and synthesizes the evidence on public policies that can make fiscal council in a way that bolsters fiscal discipline and fiscal balance in a sustainable manner for Ghana. The paper concludes that the effectiveness and the long-term survival of the proposed fiscal council for Ghana will hinge on factors that include having a full legal and operational autonomy within the scope of its mandate, sufficient financial and human resources, active and unfettered access to information and dissemination of its analysis, and their credibility as well as a high level of political commitment to a medium-term fiscal goal. It then proceeds to propose a structure and how a fiscal council in Ghana should look like based on best practice.