Systems of Accountability in Public Sector Organization Using NPM: An Exploratory Evidence
This study is about the exploration of accountability systems in the context of New Public Management initiatives. A government department in the Australian Capital Territory has been adopted as a field for investigation. The focus of this research is to study in depth of a particular phenomena i.e., accountability systems. Qualitative research methodology was chosen and case-based research method was used in this study. Data collection involved a triangulation approach using three sources as organizational documents, interviews and observation. The research demonstrated that accountability systems in the selected researched organization are the functions of public sector reforms linked to the key areas of financial management and service delivery. These findings are consistent with the view that changes to the Australian public sector promoted managerial accountability and a culture of performance. The research undertaken was in-depth, using a case study and though generalization is not possible from this single case study, the findings are expected to add knowledge to existing literature and provide some important lessons for the public sector entities in other countries who are interested in adopting these accountability systems as their control devices.
Accountability, New Public Management, Public Sector Organization, Australia
Barrett, P. (2004), ‘Financial Management in the Public Sector- How Accrual Accounting and Budgeting Enhances Governance and Accountability’, Address to the Challenge of Change: Driving Governance and Accountability, CPA Forum 2004, Australian National Audit Office.
Herguner, B. (2015), ‘Public value as a framework for reforming publicly funded museums’, International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 28, No. 6, pp. 461-474.
Jansen, E. P. (2004), ‘Performance Measurement in Governmental Organizations: A contingent Approach to Measurement and Management Control’, Managerial Finance, Vol. 30, No. 8, pp. 54-68.
Sahlin-Andersson, K. (2001), ‘National, International and Transnational Constructions of New Public Management’, in Christensen, T and Laegreid, P. (eds.) New Public Management: the transformation of ideas and practice, Ashgate Publishing Limited, England, pp. 43-72.
Maor, M. (1999), ‘The Paradox of Managerialism’, Public Administration Review, Vol. 59, No. 1, Jan.-Feb., pp. 5-18.
Carlin, T. M. (2006), ‘Victoria’s Accrual Output based Budgeting System- Delivering as Promised? Some empirical Evidence’, Financial Accountability and Management, Vol. 22, Issue 1, pp. 1-19.
Halligan, J. (2004), ‘The Quasi-Autonomous Agency in an Ambiguous Environment: The Centrelink Case’, Public Administration and Development, May, 24, pp. 147-156.
Barrett, G., Murphy, S. and Miller, R, (1994), ‘Financial Management reform’, in Stewart, J. (ed.), From Hawke to Keating- Australian Commonwealth Administration 1990-1993, Centre for Research in Public Sector Management, University of Canberra & Royal Institute of Public Administration, Australia, pp. 49-68.
Kinchin, N. (2007), ‘More than Writing on a Wall: Evaluating the Role that Codes of Ethics Play securing Accountability of Public Sector Decision-Makers’, Australian Journal of Public Administration, Vol. 66, pp. 112-120.
Kennedy, M. (1995), ‘Legislation for Ethical and Accountable Management- A Commonwealth Perspective’, in Guthrie, J. (ed.), Making the Australian Public Sector Count in the 1990s, IIR Conferences Pty Ltd., NSW, p. 19-23.
Lee, J. (2008), ‘Preparing Performance Information in the Public Sector: An Australian Perspective’, Financial Accountability & Management, Vol. 24, Issue 2, pp. 117-149.
Guthrie, J. and Farneti, F. (2008), ‘GRI Sustainability Reporting by Australian Public Sector Organizations’, Public Money & Management, Vol. 28, Issue 6, pp. 361-366.
Gendron, Y., Cooper, D. J., and Townley, B. (2001), ‘In the name of accountability: State auditing, independence and new public management’, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, Vol.14, No. 3, pp. 278-310.
Bourgon, J. (2008), ‘The Future of Public Service: A Search for a New Balance’, Australian Journal of Public Administration, Vol. 67, pp. 390-404.
Miles, M. B. and Huberman, A. M. (1994), Qualitative Data Analysis: An Expanded Sourcebook, Sage Publications, London.
Macintosh, N. B. and Quattrone, P. (2010), Management Accounting and Control Systems: An Organisational and Sociological Approach, John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Giddens, A. (1979), Central Problems in Social Theory, The Macmillan Press Ltd., London.
Core, P (1993), ‘Accountability in the Public Sector’, in Guthrie, J. (ed.), The Australian Public Sector: Pathways to Changes in the 1990s, IIR Conferences Pty Ltd., NSW, pp. 48-52.
Murray, A. (2008), Review of Operation Sunlight: Overhauling Budgetary Transparency, June, Canberra.
Tanner, L. (2008), Review of Operation Sunlight - Overhauling Budgetary Transparency, December, Canberra.
Steane, P. (2008), ‘Public Management Reforms in Australia and New Zealand: A pot-pourri overview of the past decade’, Public Management Review, Vol. 10, Issue 4, pp. 453-465.
Ahrens, T. and Ferry, L. (2015), ‘Newcastle City Council and the grassroots: accountability and budgeting under austerity’, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, Vol. 28, No. 6, pp. 909-933.
Corbett, D (1996), Australian Public Sector Management, Allen & Unwin, NSW.
Hoque, Z. and Moll, J. (2001), ‘Public sector reform- Implications for accounting, accountability and performance of state-owned entities – an Australian perspective’, International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 14, No. 4, pp. 304-326.
Brown, K., Waterhouse, J. and Flynn, C. (2003) ‘Change management practices- Is a hybrid model a better alternative for public sector agencies?’ The International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 16, No. 3, pp. 230-241.
Farneti, F. And Guthrie, J. (2009), ‘Sustainability reporting by Australian public sector organisations: Why they report’, Accounting Forum, Vol. 33, Issue 2, pp. 89-98.
ACT Government (2011), Strengthening Performance and Accountability: A Framework for the ACT Government, Chief Minister’s Department, February, ACT, Australia.
Connolly, J. (2016), ‘Contribution analysis as an approach to enable public managers to demonstrate public value The Scottish context’, International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 29, No. 7, pp. 690-707.
Vries, M. D. and Sobis, I. (2016), ‘Increasing transparency is not always the panacea An overview of alternative paths to curb corruption in the public sector’, International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 29, No. 3, pp. 255-270.
Hoque, Z. (2008), Measuring and reporting public sector outputs/outcomes: Exploratory evidence from Australia’, International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 21, No.5, pp.468-493.
Mulgan, R. (2000), ‘Comparing Accountability in the Public and Private Sectors’, Australian Journal of Public Administration, Vol. 59, Issue 1, pp. 87-97.
Roberts, A. S. (2000), ‘Less Government, More Secrecy: Reinvention and the weakening of Freedom of Information Law’, Public Administration Review, Vol. 60, pp. 308-320. Canadian experience.
Piotrowski, S. J. and Rosenbloom, D. H. (2002),’ Nonmission-Based Values in Results-Oriented Public Management: The Case of Freedom of Information’, Public Administration Review, Vol. 62, pp. 643-657.
Brewer, B. (2007), ‘Citizen or customer? Complaints handling in the public sector’, International Review of Administrative Sciences, Vol. 73, No. 4, pp. 549-556.
Aulich, C., Halligan, J. and Nutley, S. (2001), ‘Public sector Management’, in Aulich, C., Halligan, J. and Nutley, S. (eds.), Australian Handbook of Public Sector Management, Allen & Unwin, NSW, pp. 11-19.
Giddens, A. (1976), New Rules of Sociological Method: A Positive Critique of Interpretative Sociologies, Basic Books, Inc., New York.
Giddens, A. (1984), The Constitution of Society: outline of the theory of structuration, University of California Press, Berkeley.
Busco, C (2009), ‘Giddens’ structuration theory and its implications for management accounting research’, Journal of Management and Governance, Vol. 13, No. 3, Aug, pp. 249-260.
Lawrence, S. and Doolin, B. (1997), ‘Introducing system contradiction to effect change in the public sector: A New Zealand case study’, International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 10, No. 7, pp. 490-504
Lawrence, S. and Alam, M. (2000), ‘Disability support services in aliberalized economy - A NZ case study’, International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 13, No. 3, pp. 186-205.