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The milieu of government reporting in Vanuatu

Alistair Brown (School of Accounting, Curtin University, Perth, Australia)

Pacific Accounting Review

ISSN: 0114-0582

Article publication date: 13 September 2011

Abstract

Purpose

Concentrating on internal commentaries, this paper aims to consider the factors that have contributed to the resistance to the introduced reporting and accountability for the whole‐of‐government of Vanuatu.

Design/methodology/approach

The view from the centre considers documentary evidence of the Auditor‐General's commentaries on the whole of Vanuatu government reporting. Textual analysis takes into account the complexity of Vanuatu's political, social, economic, cultural and historical background, together with views from the periphery about the expectations raised about Vanuatu's constitutional accountability.

Findings

In recent times, in Vanuatu, there have been no annual reports generated by the Auditor‐General and, thus, no examination and audit of the accounts of the government of Vanuatu, suggesting a resistance to the introduced Condominium concepts of parliamentary accountability of the whole of Vanuatu government reporting. In the time the Auditor‐General's Office (AGO) did produce reports that were largely ignored by parliament and its Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

Research limitations/implications

Introduced ideas of accountability as reflected in the constitution of Vanuatu have an uncertain space. Introduced Westminster systems of government raise an expectation to uphold the intent and provisions of constitutional accountability through either Western‐narrow or Western‐broad government reporting. Textual analysis of the Auditor‐General's commentaries show that to develop and fully leverage ideas of imported concepts, such as accountability, those on the periphery need to understand the “centre”, their nature, characteristics and configuration.

Practical implications

Greater funding and staffing of the AGO would assist in the examination and audit of the accounts of the government of Vanuatu. Greater interest by parliamentary oversight committees, such as the PAC, in the Auditor‐General's work would help this examination and audit process.

Originality/value

The originality of the paper rests in considering Vanuatu's agency's own government reporting through internal points of reference.

Keywords

Citation

Brown, A. (2011), "The milieu of government reporting in Vanuatu", Pacific Accounting Review, Vol. 23 No. 2, pp. 165-184. https://doi.org/10.1108/01140581111163980

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited