of data collection, or in the case of periodic events, on the basis of the relevant and completed events during the most recent or ongoing budget period. Certain indicator dimensions require data for more than one fiscal year or budget period. In these cases, the relevant period on which a dimension should be assessed, and therefore for which evidence should be sought, is specified for the relevant indicator.

Various indicators require data for three consecutive years as a basis for assessment. In those cases, the data should cover the most recent completed fiscal year for which data is available and the two immediately preceding years and it should be applied consistently in the dimensions where this is the case. A small number of indicators are based on the performance in two out of three years. In these cases, an allowance is made so that unusual circumstances in one abnormal year, such as external shocks or unanticipated domestic difficulties, do not affect the score.


The size and materiality of aspects of performance are important considerations in many PEFA dimensions. A standard approach to size and materiality has been adopted throughout the indicator set, unless otherwise stated, as follows:

  • All refers to 90 percent or more (by value).
  • Most refers to 75 percent or more (by value).
  • Majority refers to 50 percent or more (by value).
  • Some refers to 25 percent or more (by value).
  • A Few refers to less than 25 percent and more than 10 percent (by value).

There are many indicators that use these standards. In each case the words used above are italicized to emphasize the use of a standard term.


PEFA indicators generally require assessors to measure performance for the entire central government (CG), budgetary central government

(BCG), or general government (GG). This may be impractical in situations where responsibilities are highly decentralized or cases involving large numbers of significant entities. Several indicators provide directions on the selection of specific matters to be assessed—for example, PI-11. In other indicators, sampling techniques are suggested—for example, PI-23 and 24. Where no specific sampling techniques are proposed but a complete set of information is impractical to collect, assessors may use a statistically sound sampling methodology. Assessors should explain the reason for the use of sampling and justify the sampling approach they adopt. It would be preferable that assessors and government agree on the sampling approach. In case of disagreement, differences of views can be accommodated in an annex as explained in the framework document under Part 3: The PEFA Report, paragraph 4.


As noted in Section 1.2, information on aspects of defense, public order, and safety functions may be unavailable for reasons of national security. Similarly, information on certain projects or separate costs may be unavailable or unpublished to maintain commercial confidentiality. In these situations, assessors should note the limitations in the introduction of the report, at the relevant point in the report, or in both locations (Refer to Part 3 of this document: Introduction, section 1.3.). The measurement guidance for certain indicators presents alternatives for scoring where information is not published due to commercial confidentiality. Nonetheless, wherever practical, assessors should ensure that the reasons for lack of published information are adequately justified.


The following terminology is used in PEFA 2016 to describe the budget or fiscal year:

Current fiscal year (T) is the fiscal year in which the budget proposals are being prepared and usually presented.

Next year (T+1) is the budget year or fiscal year for




PEFA Handbook Volume 1: The PEFA Assessment Process – Planning, Managing and Using PEFA