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Classification of the Functions of Government (COFOG)

Version(no version numbering system; current version is of 1999)
Valid from1999
Previous versionsClassification of the Functions of Government (COFOG), 1970 version (ST/ESA/STAT/Ser.M/70)
DescriptionCOFOG is used to distinguish between the individual and collective services provided by general government and identifies consumption expenditures that benefit individual households and that are transferred to Division 14 of COICOP in order to derive the 1993 SNA aggregate of actual final consumption of households (or actual individual consumption). The divisions, groups and classes covering these expenditures are clearly indicated in the classification.

COFOG also permits trends in government outlays on particular functions or purposes to be examined over time. Conventional government accounts are not usually suitable for this purpose, since they reflect the organizational structure of governments and time-series may be distorted by organizational changes. For example, if a government establishes a new department that brings together some of the functions previously administered by several departments or at several levels of government, it will not usually be possible to use conventional government accounts to compare expenditure on these purposes over time.

COFOG is also used for making intercountry comparisons of the extent to which governments are involved in economic and social functions.
Maintenance organization United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD)
Statistical domains 2.1 Macroeconomic statistics, 3.4 Yearbooks and similar compendia, 4.2 Classifications
Type of standardClassifications
Languages Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish
Information last updated23/08/11