Frequently asked questions – FAQs

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

To which ministry is the Czech Fiscal Council answerable?
The Czech Fiscal Council is an independent professional body that is not answerable to any ministry. Tasks associated with the professional, organisational, administrative, personnel-related and technical realisation of the work of the Czech Fiscal Council are ensured by the Office of the Czech Fiscal Council.

What are the merits of the Czech Fiscal Council?
The Czech Fiscal Council‘s greatest assets are its independence and expertise. It can therefore assess whether the state and other public institutions are adhering to the rules of budgetary responsibility, irrespective of political influences, and draw attention to steps that could destabilise public finances or result in excessive and irresponsible state debt.

Are there similar institutions abroad?
Yes. Fiscal or budgetary councils exist in all member states of the European Union, with the exception of Poland, primarily in accordance with Council Directive 2011/85/EU of 8 November 2011 on requirements for budgetary frameworks of the Member States and Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council (EU) No 473/2013 of 21 May 2013. Such institutions include Stabilitätsrat in Germany, Office for Budget Responsibility in Great Britain, Centraal Planbureau in the Netherlands, Finanspolitika rådet in Sweden, Fiskalrat in Austria, or the Slovak Rada pre rozpočtovú zodpovědnost. Moreover, the EU’s independent fiscal institutions are associated in a voluntary network (EU Independent Fiscal Institutions Network) which serves as a platform for meetings of representatives of budget councils and for the exchange of information and expert opinions. Some countries outside the European Union also have fiscal or budget councils, such as the United States of America (Congressional Budget Office), Canada (Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer), Australia (Parliamentary Budget Office) and South Korea (National Assembly Budget Office).

Who decides on the staffing of the Czech Fiscal Council?
The Chair and the two other members of the Czech Fiscal Council are appointed by the Chamber of Deputies – the Chair is elected at the proposal of the Government, one of the members at the proposal of the Senate, and the other at the proposal of the Czech National Bank.
Can the Czech Fiscal Council punish the state or public institutions for failure to comply with budgetary rules?
The Czech Fiscal Council does not have the power to impose sanctions. The Chair, however, may attend government meetings in an advisory capacity and must be given a hearing if asking to speak. The Council also writes up reports on the implementation of fiscal rules and on the long-term sustainability of public finances, which it submits to the Chamber of Deputies. Furthermore, the Czech Fiscal Council publishes reports and statements at its website, where the general public can view them.

I would like more information about the activities and output of the Czech Fiscal Council: how should I proceed?
If you have not found the information you require at the Czech Fiscal Council website, please contact us using the contact form or by sending an e-mail to podatelna@unrr.cz.