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Comparability

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Government Finances, Economic Statistics
Ralf Frimand
+45 3917 3053

raf@dst.dk

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Financial assets and liabilities of local government

Statistics Denmark has since 1977 electronically received and stored information concerning the financial assets and liabilities of local authorities at the end of the fiscal year. There is a break in data i 2007 due to the municipality reform, which means that the periods 1984-2006 and 2007- are hard to compare. Furthermore the following factors can complicate comparability over time: changes in the budget- and accounting systems, the assignments in the municipalities can changes over time, and the different ways the municipalities interpret the budget- and accounting system.

Comparability - geographical

There are no international comparable statistics.

Comparability over time

Statistics Denmark has since 1977 electronically received and stored information concerning the financial assets and liabilities of local authorities at the end of the fiscal year. To monitor the quarterly changes, Statistics Denmark has since the end of 1984 and until 2006 received data regarding the financial changes of local authorities from "KMD" (the Local Government Data Centre) for the municipalities and regions using "KMD", and by questionnaire from the municipalities and counties/regions not using "KMD".

Until the 2nd quarter of 1994, Statistics Denmark received quarterly data extracts of the financial movements. The liquid assets and long-term debt were included in the information submitted to Statistics Denmark. From the 2nd quarter of 1994, Statistics Denmark has received information about all financial movements.

There is a break in data i 2007 due to the municipality reform, which means that the periods 1984-2006 and 2007- are hard to compare. Furthermore the following factors can complicate comparability over time:

  1. Changes in the budget- and accounting systems.
  2. The assignments in the municipalities can changes over time.
  3. The different ways the municipalities interpret the budget- and accounting system.

Coherence - cross domain

The budgets of the municipalities and regions, the preliminary and final accounts, as well as the financial assets and liabilities all track the expenditure of the municipalities and regions. They are, however, hard to compare to the final accounts in any meaningful way. The quarterly financial accounts are not final data and are only published nationally and on a less detailed level than the final accounts.

The budgets are published on municipal and regional level and are final data, but only show the final version of the first approved budgets. Later additional funding and such is not included in these budgets, which hampers a comparison between budgets and accounts. Units, population, variables etc. are the same, however, and are based on the official account system of the municipalities and regions.

Coherence - internal

The accounts are delivered directly from the municipalities and regions and are only received from one source. There is thus internal consistency between sums and functions.