The D/PER is responsible for policy on how public funds are allocated across each area of Government spending, and for ensuring that expenditure is managed in line with these allocations by the Government Departments and key State agencies. In 2011, public expenditure under the control of the D/PER amounts to €57.5 billion. (This figure covers all current and capital spending by Government Departments and agencies, including spending from the Social Insurance Fund, but does not include spending directly from the Central Fund such as debt-servicing costs.)
- Summary statistics on the levels of public expenditure over the years are available here.
- A Databank giving access to detailed information on expenditure trends across each area of public spending is available here.
- The Government has produced a Comprehensive Expenditure Report 2012 -2014 showing expenditure allocations for 2012 and later years. This Report was informed by a Comprehensive Review of Expenditure and includes proposals for significant reform of the expenditure process.
Each year, the D/PER produces Estimates of Expenditure setting out the Government’s proposed allocations for each Department and the main State agencies. The Budget Estimates are produced as part of the annual Budget-day documentation, usually in December each year, and a further detailed breakdown of the proposed allocations in presented in the Revised Estimates Volume (REV) which is published in February of each year.
- The REV for 2011 and for previous years are available here.
The REV brings together 41 separate “votes” covering all of the Government Departments and many of the key State agencies; each of these votes is broken down into detailed subheads. After consideration of each of the votes by a relevant Dáil Select Committee, Dáil Éireann approves each allocation. The amounts voted by the Dáil in this way – including any “Supplementary Estimates” that may need to be passed during the year – are formally authorised in law by the annual Appropriation Act for the year.
The Government publishes Exchequer Statements each month which sets out Central Government current and capital account receipts and expenditure, tax and non-tax revenue receipts. The 2011 Exchequer Statements and previous years Statements are available here
The Department of Finance each year prepares detailed accounts of the Central Fund for the previous year, known as the Finance Accounts. These are the most comprehensive set of accounts published by the Government and include, in summary form, information on almost every aspect of the Government’s operations.
- The Finance Accounts for 2011 and for previous years are available here.
- Full details on the Estimates procedure, and on the formal mechanisms for authorising and overseeing expenditure, are set out in the Public Financial Procedures