This study of the impact of Belgian Court of Audit on Federal Administration for the 2005 to 2010 period aims to highlight the auditors’ influence on the management of governmental organizations through the performance audits they have been conducting since 1998. A set of ten variables allows us to measure the three types of uses of performance auditors’ work by auditees: instrumental, conceptual and strategic use.
A survey was sent out to a total of 148 respondents identified by the authorities of the targeted organizations; 47 usable questionnaires were completed (32 per cent response rate).
The Court of Audit’s impact on the audited entities did not provoke radical changes in the auditees’ organizational life, but the intervention of the auditors was nevertheless noticeable. The nature of the impact was rather conceptual than strategic or instrumental. And the negative consequences on auditees anticipated in the literature were not observed.
Given the five-year period covered by the study which was made in 2014 (four years after 2010), it had to deal with the mortality of respondents and the loss of organizational memory.
The study gives more accurate insights about the influence that Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) actually exert on audited Administrations through their performance audits.
Because SAIs have been mandated to evaluate the government’s economy, efficiency and effectiveness for almost 40 years in the Western democracies, it is mandatory that their actual ability to influence Administrations be documented more abundantly and independently by academic researchers.
Desmedt, E., Morin, D., Pattyn, V. and Brans, M. (2017), "Impact of performance audit on the Administration: a Belgian study (2005-2010)", Managerial Auditing Journal, Vol. 32 No. 3, pp. 251-275. https://doi.org/10.1108/MAJ-04-2016-1368Download as .RIS
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