The Classification of Functions of Government (COFOG) classifies government expenditure data from the system of National Accounts by the purpose for which the funds are used. It is a detailed classification of the functions or socio-economic objectives, that general government units aim to achieve through various kinds of outlays. First-level COFOG splits expenditure data into ten functional groups or sub-sectors of expenditure and second-level COFOG further splits each first-level group into up to nine sub-groups. COFOG permits trends in government outlays on particular functions or purposes to be examined over time.
The ten functional groups are: (1) General Public Services, (2) Defence, (3) Public Order and Safety, (4) Economic Affairs, (5) Environmental Protection, (6) Housing and Community Amenities, (7) Health, (8) Recreation, culture and religion, (9) Education, (10) Social Protection.
The COFOG exercise is based on the guidelines set out in the IMF Government Finance Statistics Manual.