The paper seeks to explore the argument for performance auditing and its place in financial management in the Brunei public sector.
The paper draws on the literature on financial management, the author's own experience teaching public sector financial management in Brunei, and interviews with audit staff in Brunei.
Although performance auditing is envisaged in the legislation, the main thrust of auditing is still on financial and procedural compliance; the paper discusses why this is so and in what circumstances it might change.
Examining the experience of performance auditing in Brunei case shows the nature of the contextual factors which underlie the performance‐oriented approach which is assumed in the new public management, and the implications for its application outside the western liberal democratic world.
The value of the paper lies in clearly delineating the nature of the change which the implementation of performance auditing would mean in Brunei public sector and the implications for non‐western countries, particularly oil economies.
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