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Book part
Publication date: 19 May 2010

Stuart Tooley, Jill Hooks and Norida Basnan

Purpose – This chapter aims to identify stakeholder perceptions on the service performance accountability of Malaysian local authorities.Design/methodology/approach – A…

Abstract

Purpose – This chapter aims to identify stakeholder perceptions on the service performance accountability of Malaysian local authorities.

Design/methodology/approach – A questionnaire survey provides the primary source of information, and both descriptive and analytical methods are employed to support the analysis of the empirical findings.

Findings – The chapter shows that despite a strong interest amongst stakeholders for greater accountability of Malaysian local authorities, a standard definition and scope of accountability has not emerged. However, the findings do indicate a new bond of accountability emerging between local authorities and its broader public than previously existed.

Research limitations – The findings and discussion are limited to the propositions put forward in the questionnaire. Alternative research methods would complement the findings.

Originality/value – The findings contribute to our understanding of accountability as interpreted by key stakeholders of local authorities located within the context of a developing country. This could potentially assist Malaysian public sector administrators whereby, and arguably, enhancing the public accountability of local authorities may contribute to an improvement in the performance management of Malaysian local authorities.

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Ethics, Equity, and Regulation
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-729-5

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Book part
Publication date: 18 October 2014

Emmanuel Auber, Elodie Chabaud, Automne Chabernaud, Clément Le Bras-Thomas, Etienne Longueville and Elena Suzat

Great Britain is a laboratory for new techniques of public management; it is therefore an interesting place to look at for people willing to get involved in large public…

Abstract

Purpose

Great Britain is a laboratory for new techniques of public management; it is therefore an interesting place to look at for people willing to get involved in large public organisations. The French ‘institute for local studies’, trains future professionals, selected after graduation or after a working experience, in order to take high positions in local authorities nationwide. Three pairs of trainees belonging to the 2012–2013 group spent two weeks in three local authorities in England, with the purpose of analysing the performance management in these organisations.

Design/methodology/approach

British and French scholars dedicated to public organisations provided the six trainees with a global view of local government and reforms in the United Kingdom. After that, each pair exchanged information with the local authority they would visit; during the two weeks they spent there, an officer followed their works. They interviewed numerous professionals, elected members and unionists, attended meetings and events. Back in France, they presented their findings in several documents. The original subject was measuring and managing performance; in fact, the three pairs went farther and looked over many aspects of the organisations’ functioning.

Findings

Local authorities are facing important budget reductions and appear fragile; they put forward the idea of resilience to express the necessity of using all their resources to deal with a difficult situation. Elected members have a role of political initiative, but they also focus a lot on control, which is much more developed in Britain than in France; managers experience a very difficult period, with a lot of threats on their jobs, teams and projects. In this context, professional networks are very important; peer review is an interesting example of the role of professional exchanges in the search for new solutions. At last, unions don’t seek conflicts but try to accompany changes, lessening their negative consequences on people.

Originality/value

This work is not an academic one but an approach of the reality of organisations analysed by professionals or future professionals of the public sector, in a kind of ‘peer review’ between different countries. This international dimension is interesting, seeing that few in-depth comparisons between local authorities are made, especially between France and Britain.

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European Public Leadership in Crisis?
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-901-0

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Article
Publication date: 25 February 2021

Fernanda Mata, Pedro S.R. Martins, Julia B. Lopes-Silva, Marcela Mansur-Alves, Alexander Saeri, Emily Grundy, Peter Slattery and Liam Smith

This study aimed to examine (1) whether confidence in political and health authorities predicted intention to adopt recommended health-protective behaviours and (2…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aimed to examine (1) whether confidence in political and health authorities predicted intention to adopt recommended health-protective behaviours and (2) whether age, gender and education level moderated the relationship between confidence in political and health authorities and health protective-behaviours (download the COVIDSafe app, wear a face mask and stay at home).

Design/methodology/approach

This study assessed 1,206 Australians using an online survey. Participants answered questions regarding their confidence in political and health authorities and intention to adopt health-protective measures.

Findings

Confidence in health and political authorities predicted intention to stay home and intention to download the COVIDSafe app, but not to wear a face mask in public spaces. Age moderated the relationship between confidence in authorities and intention to stay home (i.e. among respondents with less than 54 years old, confidence in authorities was associated with higher intention to stay home). Further, age and education level moderated the relationship between confidence in authorities and intention to download the COVIDSafe app (i.e. among older respondents and those with a university degree or higher, confidence in authorities was more strongly associated with higher intention to download the COVIDSafe app). The interaction between confidence and education predicted adoption of mask-wearing (i.e. among participants with a university degree or higher, more confidence in authorities was associated with higher intention to wear a mask in public spaces).

Originality/value

Our findings can inform the development of targeted communications to increase health-protective behaviours at early stages of future pandemics.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 23 September 2019

Kelly Maguire and Emmet McLoughlin

Events are a significant component of Ireland’s tourism offering. They are an important source of economic activity and an incremental driver of social change and…

Abstract

Purpose

Events are a significant component of Ireland’s tourism offering. They are an important source of economic activity and an incremental driver of social change and development throughout the country. However, the visual and physical impacts often created by event activities to the environmental and social resource base upon which, events depend, have begun to draw attention to the way events are planned and managed. Although the concept of sustainability has become the topic of much discussion and debate in event management literature, there exist many gaps in relation to its practical application in event management planning in Ireland. This is despite the statutory obligation of local authorities in Ireland to license events and to facilitate the process of planning for large-scale outdoor public events in Ireland. Yet, with the continued expansion of Ireland’s event industry, there is a fundamental need for an evidence-informed approach to planning for event management. Through the application of the European tourism indicator system (ETIS), the long-term sustainability and competitiveness of the national event industry in Ireland could be secured. This paper aims to examine and discuss the application of the ETIS as a possible tool to facilitate greater levels of sustainability and accountability within the events industry in Ireland.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used a quantitative content analysis approach involving a complete population sample of local authorities in the Republic of Ireland to determine the application of the ETIS within the legal process of planning for event management in Ireland.

Findings

While the findings have identified a basic provision for event management within a number of local authority legally required County Development Plans, none, however, were using the ETIS to monitor the impacts of events at the local level. This lack of data collection and benchmarking highlights the need for greater levels of sustainability and accountability within the legal process of planning for event management in Ireland.

Originality/value

This study suggests the ETIS as an easy, cost effective and viable solution to facilitate an evidence-informed approach to planning for event management at the local level. However, the lessons learned from this study may also have implications for destination planners and event managers outside of Ireland.

Details

Journal of Place Management and Development, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8335

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 1998

Andy Asquith

This paper deals with the management of complex environmental turbulence and organizational change in English local government. Research has been conducted to assess the…

Abstract

This paper deals with the management of complex environmental turbulence and organizational change in English local government. Research has been conducted to assess the perceptions of the strategic élites, chief executives and chief officers, to these change processes. However, no work had been undertaken to assess the extent of support and ownership amongst non‐élite actors, the middle managers and street‐level operatives, in English local authorities towards these élite change strategies. This paper identifies that different management styles do impact upon the roles of these non‐élites in a number of distinct ways. It provides evidence that one of the management styles is more appropriate than the others identified in the paper in terms of effecting successful change management.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

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Article
Publication date: 15 June 2018

Thomas Spencer, Jo Hayden, Peter Murphy and Russ Glennon

The purpose of this paper is to examine the form, content and reporting arrangements of “statements of assurance” required from Fire and Rescue Authorities in England…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the form, content and reporting arrangements of “statements of assurance” required from Fire and Rescue Authorities in England since their introduction in 2012 and identify potential improvements for future implementation.

Design/methodology/approach

A multi-method approach was adopted which commenced with an analysis of the current official guidance, an exploration of the accessibility and structure of the current statements produced; followed by a review of those statements through a desk based analysis complemented by a series of elite interviews.

Findings

The current guidance was found to be too broad and open to interpretation to be fit for purpose. This has led to some significant variations in reporting, limiting the statements’ usefulness to key users and stakeholders. Most authorities provided some form of report on their website but inconsistencies in respect of length, structure, name and content, limit their value. The research found that 30 per cent of authorities did not have an up to date statement available online. These findings were supported by the series of interviews. The result has led to confusion amongst authorities as to the statement’s role and the risk of it being perceived as a “box ticking” exercise rather than a real contribution to public assurance.

Practical implications

This paper provides potential lessons which could be adopted to inform future guidance in respect of the preparation and publication of the statement of assurance and its role within the wider public assurance regime for fire and rescue authorities. If adopted, these would improve the accountability, transparency and public assurance of Fire and Rescue Authorities which is a key objective of their governance arrangements.

Originality/value

The statement of assurance has only been a requirement of authorities since the current National Framework for Fire and Rescue was published in July 2012 and has not been subject to independent research since its inception. The government have recently issued a consultation on a new national framework, but this proposes changes to the statements of assurance. The findings will therefore be of value to the government, the fire and rescue sector and the recently appointed regulators for the service Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services.

Details

International Journal of Emergency Services, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2047-0894

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Article
Publication date: 25 July 2008

Annika Schneider and Grant Samkin

The purpose of this paper is to assess the extent and quality of intellectual capital disclosures (ICDs) in the annual reports of the New Zealand local government sector.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess the extent and quality of intellectual capital disclosures (ICDs) in the annual reports of the New Zealand local government sector.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper makes use of an ICD index constructed through a participatory stakeholder consultation process to develop a disclosure index which measures the extent and quality intellectual capital reporting in the 2004/2005 annual reports of 82 local government authorities in New Zealand. The final index comprised 26 items divided into three categories: internal, external and human capital.

Findings

The results indicate that the reporting of intellectual capital by local government authorities is varied. The most reported items were joint ventures/business collaborations and management processes, while the least reported items were intellectual property and licensing agreements. The most reported category of intellectual capital was internal capital, followed by external capital. Human capital was the least reported category.

Research limitations/implications

There are a number of limitations associated with this study. First the research covered only one year (2004/2005) which makes it difficult to draw any trend conclusions. Second, differing legal reporting requirements may make it difficult to compare findings of this research with findings of research conducted in other jurisdictions. The final limitation of this study is its exploratory nature of this research and the use of a disclosure index to measure disclosure levels.

Practical implications

The results in this paper indicate that local authorities are disclosing some aspects of intellectual capital in their annual reports. However, there is no consistent reporting framework and many areas of ICDs do not meet stakeholder expectations.

Originality/value

This paper is unique in that it is the first study to make use of an ICD index to examine intellectual capital reporting by local government authorities.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Capital, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1469-1930

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Article
Publication date: 28 October 2014

Annika Schneider, Grant Samkin and Howard Davey

The purpose of this paper is to establish whether local authorities in New Zealand report biodiversity-related information and to examine the vehicles through which it is…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to establish whether local authorities in New Zealand report biodiversity-related information and to examine the vehicles through which it is communicated.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses a keyword search to identify biodiversity reporting across a wide range of data sources, including local authority websites, formal accountability documents, environmental reports, environment and biodiversity management strategies, plans and policies.

Findings

Biodiversity-related information was contained in range of documents. Reporting ranged from no mention of the term in existing statutory accountability documents (Annual Plans, Annual Reports, Long-Term Plans [LTPs] and District Plans/Regional Policy Statements), through to a comprehensive stand-alone biodiversity Annual Report and stand-alone biodiversity strategies. Regional and unitary authorities were more likely than territorial authorities to prepare and report biodiversity-related information to stakeholders. There is currently no consistent framework or method to guide local authorities in the presentation of biodiversity-related information. The lack of consistent, comparable information hinders the ability of stakeholders to assess local authority performance in the sustainable management of biodiversity in their district or region.

Research limitations/implications

While this study does not consider quality of reporting, or reporting trends over time, it provides a picture of the “current state of play”. This provides a starting point from which further research into the preparation and reporting of biodiversity information by local authorities can be conducted.

Originality/value

This paper represents the first of its kind within a New Zealand context. It provides an initial insight into whether local authorities prepare and report biodiversity-related information and where this information is presented.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 5 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 1997

Caroline De Almeida

Says that, in recent years, public libraries have undergone budget cuts which have affected the services they provide. Shows these cuts have caused the public library…

Abstract

Says that, in recent years, public libraries have undergone budget cuts which have affected the services they provide. Shows these cuts have caused the public library service to be thrown into a financial crisis. Contributing to this crisis are local government restructuring with no additional money allocated for the transitionary period and also public libraries ineligibility to compete for national lottery funding. Discusses the standards a public library should have as well as government legislation affecting libraries, especially with regard to lack of funding. Includes two case studies of public libraries in different areas to show the differences in how different types of authority are affected.

Details

New Library World, vol. 98 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2002

P.L.G. Nihoul

One often thinks of competition as a mechanism whereby undertakings are forced to answer more efficiently the needs of clients. One may wonder whether that system could be…

Abstract

One often thinks of competition as a mechanism whereby undertakings are forced to answer more efficiently the needs of clients. One may wonder whether that system could be used to organize the institutional environment. Competition already exists among states or regions, where it affects their capacity to attract investment or skilled workers. Could we go further and organise institutional competition among authorities within the same territory? Electronic communications provide a good case study, with the same competencies being attributed to regulators, competition authorities and judicial power.

Details

info, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6697

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