This article presents an overview of independent fiscal institutions in OECD member countries, outlining their principal common features as well as country-specific attributes and functions, and flags the challenges they face in the surveillance of public finances. The case of the short-lived Fiscal Council in Hungary is discussed, with a comparison to the recently established Office for Budget Responsibility in the United Kingdom. The article draws upon the experience accumulated so far to propose internationally accepted good practices in this area. JEL classification: H610, H680 Keywords: surveillance of public finances, independent fiscal institutions, fiscal council, parliamentary budget office, office for budget responsibility, oversight of fiscal policy, Hungary, United Kingdom
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