Search results

1 – 10 of over 26000
Article
Publication date: 21 September 2021

Laurence Ferry and Mark Sandford

The relationship between central and sub-national (local) government is contentious around distribution of power and control. There is a specific concern when a (local

Abstract

Purpose

The relationship between central and sub-national (local) government is contentious around distribution of power and control. There is a specific concern when a (local) place has power devolved, but centralised hierarchical accountability pervades.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper addresses that concern by considering recent innovative developments around place-based accountability arrangements in England, through analysis of official reports and news media.

Findings

The article illustrates aspirations towards accountability to the local electorate clash with hierarchical accountability that remains an omnipresent mechanism of central control. It is suggested, accountability forums be developed to blend hierarchy and the place leadership role of directly elected mayors. This could enable local accountability to the electorate, whilst taking account of the context of specific regional level complexities.

Originality/value

This is one of the first papers to consider issues of place leadership and place based accountability within the framework of hierarchical accountability for central and local government relations.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 34 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

Keywords

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.

Details

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

Book part
Publication date: 27 November 2020

Habib Muhammad Shahib, Eko Ganis Sukoharsono, M. Achsin and Yeney Widya Prihatiningtias

This chapter develops a new reference for local government accountability in socioenvironmental issues based on the views of leading socioenvironmental nongovernmental…

Abstract

This chapter develops a new reference for local government accountability in socioenvironmental issues based on the views of leading socioenvironmental nongovernmental Organisations (NGOs) in Indonesia. This study introduces an alternative view related to the government accountability model by focussing more on the socioenvironmental issues, which tend to be marginalised due to the dominance of [neo]liberal economic development and New Public Management paradigm in the praxis of government. A Fairclough's critical discourse analysis method has been applied to annual reports from three main socioenvironmental NGOs in Indonesia ranging from 2015 to 2018. This study found that there are three important notes for the local government's regulation, practice and accountability's activities to be in a line with the sustainable paradigm and the views of these NGOs. First and the foremost, the government's policy should give attention to public needs and ecological standards. Secondly, the rights and obligations related to the environmental issues should be transparent and accountable. Lastly, the government should release the accountability reports in full disclosure document and make the reports publicly available for various stakeholders. In particular, the accountability reports play a role as a tool for people to monitor the government's activities in socioenvironmental issues. This research implies an alternative view in the context of socioenvironmental accounting literature enrichment. It also provides valuable input to other governments, especially in developing countries and countries with economic growth that are highly reliant on the natural resources sector, in order to manage and account for their natural wealth in a more responsible and sustainable manner. Likewise, this research offers an alternative discourse of socioenvironmental accountability from the view of socioenvironmental NGOs in Indonesia.

Details

Environmentalism and NGO Accountability
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-002-8

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2014

Prae Keerasuntonpong, Keitha Dunstan and Bhagwan Khanna

The statement of service performance is a mandatory report provided by local governments in New Zealand. Despite 20 years' reporting experience, the Office of the…

Abstract

The statement of service performance is a mandatory report provided by local governments in New Zealand. Despite 20 years' reporting experience, the Office of the Auditor-General (2008) criticised the poor quality of these reports. Past theoretical literature has attempted to develop a framework for the accountability expectations of documents provided by public-sector entities (Stewart, 1984). The purpose of this paper is to measure the consistency of the statements of service performance about wastewater services made by New Zealand local governments with the accountability expectations, using an accountability disclosure index. The paper reveals a moderately high level of consistency. “Probity” and “legality” accountability disclosures are high while “process/efficiency” and “performance programme-effectiveness” accountability are less emphasised. The results suggest that accountability expectations provide a useful tool for evaluating statements of service performance.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 26 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

Article
Publication date: 17 August 2015

Thomas Ahrens and Laurence Ferry

The purpose of this paper is to shed light on new accountability relationships between Newcastle City Council (NCC) and its citizens and stakeholders in the wake of the…

3347

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to shed light on new accountability relationships between Newcastle City Council (NCC) and its citizens and stakeholders in the wake of the British government’s austerity politics and its budget cuts for local authorities. It seeks to show some of the ways in which various kinds of budgeting, for example, for alternative sources of funding, the use of volunteers for service provision, resource sharing, and asset transfers, as well as a diverse set of accounts of the social implications of resource diversions and service cuts, have been implicated in those changes.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted a qualitative field study of some of the uses of budgets in the shaping of accountability relationships through interviews with council officers, conversations with activists and citizens, analysis of council and other documents, and observation of public meetings and demonstrations. The approach focused on the relationship between the city’s political grassroots and the NCC leadership and administration.

Findings

The authors find that NCC’s senior politicians and officers co-opted the city’s political grassroots and managed to reconstitute local political accountability to citizenry and stakeholders as a choice between the cessation of different types of local government services, by combining appeals to the legal framework of English local authorities, the unfairness of national politics, and the fairness of local government service provision. Local government blamed the funding cuts and the resulting resource shortages on the central government. It sought to push responsibility for cuts to the local citizenry whilst reserving for itself the role of mediator and adjudicator who makes the final decisions about the portfolio of causes that will be funded.

Originality/value

This is the first study to offer detailed insight into the effects of the British government’s austerity budget cuts of local authority grants on the politics of accountability in a local authority.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 28 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 December 1999

Louise Kloot

There is a a great deal of literature on performance measurement and accountability in government. Governments around the world have invested large amounts to develop…

5276

Abstract

There is a a great deal of literature on performance measurement and accountability in government. Governments around the world have invested large amounts to develop performance measurement systems, the results of which are mediocre at best. There is also a growing recognition that financial performance measures alone measure only limited aspects of an organisation’s performance. To improve performance measurement systems and accountability to different stakeholders, non‐financial indicators have been developed for the for‐profit sector. Prior research in the local government sector in the state of Victoria, Australia, showed low levels of accountability and very little performance measurement taking place. However, significant changes have been imposed on the sector, enhancing local and central accountability, making it more business‐like, and focussing on the need to measure performance. This research studied the extent to which performance measurement systems are currently being used in practice in Victorian local government, the factors which lead to the use of performance measurement and the extent of non‐financial indicators. The results revealed a substantial increase in the level of use of performance measurement in the sector, related to increased emphasis on accountability and organisational changes imposed on the sector by the state government. The performance of both people and programs is now being measured. Although there is an emphasis on financial and budgetary measures for financial accountability, the use of non‐financial measures in determining outcome accountability is increasing. Customer service and quality are two of the areas in which non‐financial performance measures are being developed.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 12 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 15 December 2016

Debbie H. Kim, Jeannette A. Colyvas and Allen K. Kim

Despite a legacy of research that emphasizes contradictions and their role in explaining change, less is understood about their character or the mechanisms that support…

Abstract

Despite a legacy of research that emphasizes contradictions and their role in explaining change, less is understood about their character or the mechanisms that support them. This gap is especially problematic when making causal claims about the sources of institutional change and our overall conceptions of how institutions matter in social meanings and organizational practices. If we treat contradictions as a persistent societal feature, then a primary analytic task is to distinguish their prevalence from their effects. We address this gap in the context of US electoral discourse and education through an analysis of presidential platforms. We ask how contradictions take hold, persist, and might be observed prior to, or independently of, their strategic use. Through a novel combination of content analysis and computational linguistics, we observe contradictions in qualitative differences in form and quantitative differences in degree. Whereas much work predicts that ideologies produce contradictions between groups, our analysis demonstrates that they actually support convergence in meaning between groups while promoting contradiction within groups.

Article
Publication date: 19 October 2012

John W. Raine and Paul Keasey

The purpose of this paper is to reflect on the opportunities and challenges provided by the introduction of Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), and particularly the…

1326

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to reflect on the opportunities and challenges provided by the introduction of Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), and particularly the prospects for enhanced public accountability of policing as a result. It considers how the new accountability framework might work in practice and in comparison with the existing arrangements of Police Authorities and highlights the key accountability relationships on which success is likely to depend.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on a range of published research on public accountability and applies the key ideas to the particular context of police governance and accountability.

Findings

While the plans for directly elected PCCs have proved controversial, the overall view is that the new approach to police governance deserves its chance because it seems to offer at least some potential for stronger public accountability. Much depends on the three key accountability relationships and probably it will take some time for clear, significant and lasting impacts to show themselves. But in four years time, when the next round of elections are due, the nature of the challenge of injecting more effective public accountability into policing will be better understood.

Originality/value

The paper offers conceptual insights on the governance and accountability framework for policing, both as currently exists and as is intended with directly elected PCCs. It also highlights the three key accountability relationships which lie at the heart of the new arrangements and upon which success, to a large extent, will depend.

Details

International Journal of Emergency Services, vol. 1 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2047-0894

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 November 2017

Nick Sciulli

The purpose of this study is to investigate how accountability and transparency was used to inform the local community and support the decision-making of the Surf Coast…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate how accountability and transparency was used to inform the local community and support the decision-making of the Surf Coast Shire (SCS) with respect to the development of an aquatic and health centre.

Design/methodology/approach

This project investigates a case study of a proposed aquatic and leisure centre located within the SCS (Victoria-Australia). The paper draws on content analysis and an interpretative approach to critically analyse publicly available archival documents sourced from the SCS, consultant reports and the popular press.

Findings

Providing extensive disclosure for a major capital works project and engaging the community to determine support for such a project was undertaken for reasons of accountability and transparency. However, community feedback has provided evidence of divisions between and within local township communities.

Practical implications

This project illustrates that being transparent and communicating accounting information via different forums can create significant community engagement to facilitate council decision-making albeit at a cost to some social disharmony.

Originality/value

It is typical for local councils to prepare budgets that inform the community how funds will be expended. In this case, the council has sought feedback from the community before a capital-intensive decision has been made. This approach extends the notion of accountability by disclosing managements’ decision-making apparatus.

Details

Pacific Accounting Review, vol. 29 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0114-0582

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 13 August 2020

Ioanna Moscholidou

There are different narratives surrounding smart mobility, which can sometimes even appear as opposing (Lyons, 2018). Its fiercest proponents are promising versions of a…

Abstract

There are different narratives surrounding smart mobility, which can sometimes even appear as opposing (Lyons, 2018). Its fiercest proponents are promising versions of a revolutionised future, where users have on-demand access to multiple mobility options and are freed from car ownership, while transport systems become carbon neutral and congestion is a problem of a bygone age (Sherman, 2019). At the same time, the plausibility of such visions of the future has been questioned, with critics warning against the potentially negative impacts of the widespread adoption of privately provided services and stressing the need for state intervention to avoid exacerbating ‘classic’ transport issues such as congestion and unequal access to services, as well as creating new challenges such as uncontrolled market monopolies (Docherty, Marsden, & Anable, 2018). Drawing from these narratives, this chapter explores how officials from English transport authorities see state intervention evolve in the future, and what accountability arrangements are necessary to achieve the level of steering they envisage. Based on interviews with local authority officials, this chapter shows that the officials’ views generally align more closely with the narrative of providers than with that of critics. Although different local authorities envisage varying levels of control and steering of smart mobility, they all expect new services to improve the local transport provision. This chapter also discusses the barriers local authorities face in shaping local accountability arrangements.

Details

Shaping Smart Mobility Futures: Governance and Policy Instruments in times of Sustainability Transitions
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-651-1

Keywords

1 – 10 of over 26000