The latest issue of Institute of Public Finance's Notes titled Budget credibility of Croatian municipalities, cities and counties for 2020-2022 features Simona Prijaković's systematization of basic information about budget plans and budget outturns. The Note primarily focuses on deviations from planned amounts in the observed period since local government units usually plan for much higher revenues and expenditures than what they generate in the course of the year. Using this analysis and the data available in Excel spreadsheet, interested citizens could easily recognise deviations from planned budgets of their counties, cities and municipalities and compare them to the situation in previous years as well as to the situation in other counties, cities and municipalities.
The analysis leads to the following conclusions: (1) the highest average deviations in both revenues and expenditures have been recorded in municipalities, followed by cities then by counties; (2) the lowest deviations occur in operating expenditures, while the highest in both revenues and expenditures related to fixed assets in all local government units; (3) average deviations in operating revenues, total revenues, operating expenditures and total expenditures were smaller in 2021 than in 2020, but in 2022 they were higher than in 2021 (except in cities, where deviations in operating expenditures were further reduced in 2022).
The author hopes that this short analysis will have the following effects: 
  • to stimulate the public to study in more detail the abundant databases managed by the Ministry of Finance and their local government units and obtain more information on how the money in their local budgets is being collected and spent, 
  • to stimulate the public to become more involved in the budgetary process and try to impact a more realistic budget planning process in their local government units in order to avoid large deviations and potential budget manipulations,
  • to raise awareness of their local government units about the importance of quality budget planning and the need to execute more balanced budgets (which they are obliged to do anyway as per the Budget Act) and about the need to explain to the citizens any deviation from the budget plan and inform them about steps to be taken to correct previous deviations.
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