For the National Programming

and the Strategic Economic Policy


by Franco Archibugi

Planning Studies Centre - 2002



Strategic planning has recently become a more and more important tool in the public sector for improving the methods and results of public management. In every OECD country, compared by the public management (PUMA) committee and secretariat, and especially in the US after the Governmental Performance and Results Act of Congress in 1993, and its implementation, strategic planning has become the technical instrument for the expansion and implementation of “results-based management” in every public agency.

It has become the most important instrument for what has been called the “reinvention of government.

However strategic planning and result-based management have a limit. They limit themselves to the thresholds of a single governmental entity (ministries, departments, national agencies, local governments and so on) The attempts of coordination of the strategic planning on the entire public scale (inter-governmental, inter-agencies, and government-wide) have been carried on in some countries (expecially in the Usa, on behalf of certain coordination agencies like Gao and Omb), but they are at the first stage. The methods of strategic planning have not yet been integrated with those of the public budgeting and programming methods, and the latter have been not yet integrated with the experience of a “societal” programming, i.e. on the scale of all society institutions, governmental and private.

The difficulties in the integration of the programming at different levels from the micro-operational one to the macro-economic and macro-societal ones are inherent to the unilateral approaching, which right now in the human experience, has been practiced in the art of the strategic management, on different scales, micro and macro-operational. The overcoming of the unilateral approaching has not found, until now, sufficient experiences of integration and coordination, which, in turn, could help in elaborating its own “technology” and adequate technical instruments for the implementation itself of integration and coordination. This has lead or can lead to the flop of all unilateral and inconsistent experiences registered in the past or ongoing in this matter, from those of the macro-economic approach of economic policies, to those of the result-based micro-managerial applications (strategic planning).

This book provides for the debate among policy-makers, economists and social planners, a first analysis, proposal, and methodological description of an indespensible instrument – conceptual and operational – for the above said integration and coordination: the reference “Accounting Framework” for decision-making.

This book recalls attempts (made in Italy in the 1970-71, on behalf of a section of the Italian government, the Ministry of Budget and Economic Programming, and under the direction of the Author) to construct such a “Framework”, as instruments of political decision-making and “trade offs” in the allocations of national resources and in the formulations of public programmes. That work miscarried, and only weak traces remain. This book is one of these traces.

But in it is contained the formula and secret combination of a new revolutionary way to managing the economic and social policies and the national performance. A combination indispensable in implementing the “reinventing government” operation actually ongoing in several advanced countries in our present times.







Chapter 1

Concept of “Accounting Framework” and Its Utility for Planning

Chapter 2

Content and Structure of “Accounting Framework”

Chapter 3

The Account of Sectors and the “Program Structure”

Chapter 4

The Productive Implications of the Resources Allocation Objectives

Chapter 5

The Institutional and Financial Dimensions of the “Accounting Framework”

Chapter 6

Schematic Recapitulation of the “Accounting Framework”

Chapter 7

National Accounting, Public Budgeting, and “Accounting Framework”




Chapter 8

The Components of the Quantification Process

Chapter 9

The Quantification of the Allocation Objectives

Chapter 10

The Transition from the Allocation Objectives to the Production Objectives

Chapter  11

The Quantification and Articulation of the Production Objectives

Chapter 12

The Quantification of the Objectives by “Institutional Actors”

Chapter 13

The Quantifications of the Incomes Distribution

Chapter 14

The Quantifications of the Financial Mechanisms




Chapter 15

The Modeling of the Accounting Framework

Chapter 16

The Temporalization of the Accounting Framework

Chapter 17

The Negotiating System of the Accounting Framework

Chapter 18

Other Political and Operational Aspects of the Accounting Framework

Chapter 19

The Information Technology of the Accounting Framework



Exhibits List


I-1 Relation Assessments in the Decision-making System of the Public Agent (from the viewpoint of the resources use)

II-1 Three-dimensional Table of the Accounting Framework

III-1 Example of Selection of an Allocation Program Structuring at General Level

III-2 Transitional Table among Programmatic Categories of Consumption and the Goods and Services Categories to be Consumed

III-3 Consumption according to the different Ways and Categories of Distribution

IV-1 Transitional Table of Goods and Services to be Consumed by Sectors of Origin (and Formation)

IV-2 Transitional Table of the Investment Categories by Sector of Origin ( or Formation) of related Capital Goods

V-1 Account of the Distribution of the National Income by Production Factors

V-2 Account of the Income and Expenditure by Institutional Categories.

V-3 Financial Transfers between Institutional Categories

V-4 Financial Accounts by Institutional Categories and Financial Instruments Typology

VI-1 Graphic Expression of the Three-Dimensionality of the Accounting Framework

VI-2 Temporal Dimension of the Accounting Framework

VI-3 The Splitting of the Accounting Framework in Couples of Accounts.

VI-4 The Splitting Matrix of the Accounts of Accounting Framework

VII-1 Graphic Expression of the Effort to Unify the Logic Holding the Three Types of Accounting Classification: 1)By Plan Objectives; 2) By National Expenditure; 3) The Public Expenditure.

IX-1 Research Process for the Definition of Social Needs at the Scale of Urban System.(“Suter” Team)

IX-2 Schematization of the first Phase of the Process: the Quantification of the general Resources Allocation Objectives.

 IX-3 Table of the Under Study-Team of the “Social Indicators Team”(Indisoc, with their reference to the “Program Structure” and their Degree of Insertion in the Research Process for the Assessment of the Programmatic Allocations of the Accounting Framework).

XI-1 Research Process for the Quantification of the Industrial Production  Objectives at Regional Scale (“Proreind” Team)

XI-2 Research Process for the Quantification of the Agriculture Production  Objectives at Regional Scale (“Proreagr” Team)

XI-3 Research Process for the Quantification of the Tertiary Privat Activities Production Objectives at Regional Scale ( “Proreterz” Team)

XI-4 Schematization summarizing the second and third phase of the Process: Transition toward the production needs and their territorial articulation and quantification.

XII-1 Schematization of the fourth phase of the process: the quantification of the objectives by “institutional” actors

XV-1 General System of Models of the National Planning Process (in order to the Construction of the Accounting Framework)

XVI-1 Timetable of reference for the “External” and “Internal” Temporalization of Plans at Medium and Long Term

XVII-1 Iterative Process of the Negotiating System on the Accounting Framework (first and second phases)

XVII-2 Synoptic Recapitulation of the Moments fo the Negotiating System

XVII-3 Iterative Process of the Negotiating System on the Accounting Framework (third and forth phases)

XVIII-1 Cycle of Information Flux in the Utilization Process of the “Accounting Framework”.