Internationally, spending reviews are increasingly considered to be the most appropriate tool to facilitate the reallocation and the reduction of public expenditure because they offer a path to improve the "rationality" of decisionmaking aimed at the achievement of the final goals of public intervention. However, the actual experiences are very diverse, difficult to encode, and change their features over time even in the same country, in response to the external environment. This paper presents the contribution expected in recent years from spending reviews in connection with the financial and economic crisis. It also describes the main features of a spending review, drawing considerations on the Italian case. In particular, it highlights the multiplicity of actions taken and the associated coordination problems, and it discusses the need to implement a tighter integration of the spending review in the budget process, signaling the difficulties encountered.
Keywords: Spending review, public expenditure control, budgeting
Jel Code: H11, H61, H83