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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2016

Jean X. Zhang and Kevin T. Rich

We investigate whether council audit committees relate to municipal fiscal policies. We find that municipalities with audit committees are associated with greater levels…

Abstract

We investigate whether council audit committees relate to municipal fiscal policies. We find that municipalities with audit committees are associated with greater levels of own-source revenue, in that they finance municipal operations with locally raised revenues driven by charges and fees compared to municipalities without audit committees. Furthermore, municipalities with audit committees are associated with less new debt than those without audit committees, indicating more conservative use of external financing. Overall, our results are consistent with municipal audit committees, in addition to monitoring the financial reporting function, playing an advisory role in fiscal decisions, especially when the cost of local government to citizens is high.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 28 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2013

John F. Sacco and Gerard R. Busheé

This paper analyzes the impact of economic downturns on the revenue and expense sides of city financing for the period 2003 to 2009 using a convenience sample of the…

Abstract

This paper analyzes the impact of economic downturns on the revenue and expense sides of city financing for the period 2003 to 2009 using a convenience sample of the audited end of year financial reports for thirty midsized US cities. The analysis focuses on whether and how quickly and how extensively revenue and spending directions from past years are altered by recessions. A seven year series of Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) data serves to explore whether citiesʼ revenues and spending, especially the traditional property tax and core functions such as public safety and infrastructure withstood the brief 2001 and the persistent 2007 recessions? The findings point to consumption (spending) over stability (revenue minus expense) for the recession of 2007, particularly in 2008 and 2009.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2004

Yee‐Ching Lilian Chan

To deal with financial constraints and increasing demand on accountability, government administrators have begun implementing modern management tools in their…

Abstract

To deal with financial constraints and increasing demand on accountability, government administrators have begun implementing modern management tools in their organizations. The balanced scorecard, a performance and strategic management system, has been adopted in for‐profit organizations with success and its application in the government sector is explored in this study. Results of a survey of municipal governments in the USA and Canada show that there is limited use of the balanced scorecard. Most municipal governments, however, have developed measures to assess their organizations' financial, customer satisfaction, operating efficiency, innovation and change, and employee performance. Respondent administrators, in general, have confidence in the quality of the performance measures and about half reported that these measures were used to support various management functions. The respondent administrators also have a good understanding of the balanced scorecard and the implementers are positive about their experience.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

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Article
Publication date: 3 February 2012

Bryane Michael and Stephen Mendes

Macedonian municipalities should pass anti‐corruption ordinances in order to reduce corruption. The purpose of this paper is to review the legal issues involved in…

Abstract

Purpose

Macedonian municipalities should pass anti‐corruption ordinances in order to reduce corruption. The purpose of this paper is to review the legal issues involved in drafting such ordinances and provide legal advisors to local councils with the legal and economic analysis needed to tackle some of the more difficult and detailed questions.

Design/methodology/approach

The most important issue revolves around the creation of a model ordinance which Macedonian municipalities (or the Association of Units of Local Self‐Government of the Republic of Macedonia) could adopt in order to set‐up and run municipal‐level anti‐corruption agencies. The location of such agencies as well as their competencies (to monitor conflicts of interests, oversee asset declarations, and conduct corruption risk‐audits among others) are analysed. The paper also provides legal interpretations of Macedonian legislation and their likely impact on municipal council ordinance design in the area of anti‐corruption – providing the legal basis for positive administrative silence, the splitting of municipal procurement contracts, and (most controversially) qui tam rewards at the municipal level.

Findings

A brief regulatory impact analysis of the ordinance shows a gain of €162,900 in social welfare if such a programme were rolled‐out in Macedonia.

Originality/value

The present paper provides some of the legal analysis which previous papers lack.

Details

International Journal of Law and Management, vol. 54 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-243X

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Article
Publication date: 10 April 2019

Xiang Cai and Wei-Ning Wu

This paper aims to examine the factors affecting the implementation of affordable housing policies in two Chinese municipal governments. Since 2010, the Chinese government

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the factors affecting the implementation of affordable housing policies in two Chinese municipal governments. Since 2010, the Chinese government has enforced an ambitious plan to adopt affordable housing provisions accompanying a series of urbanization programs. Furthermore, the policy implementation at the local level has led to various outcomes but has been scarcely investigated. The views of policy implementation from local officials are crucial in the context of intergovernmental relations. Therefore, it is important to examine the views of local public officials on the development status and challenges in the context of Chinese intergovernmental relations.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper verifies which factors exert significant impacts on the willingness of local officials to adapt affordable housing policies by using the logistic regression model and marginal effect estimation. With original data from the fieldwork surveys of city administrators, the measures incorporated local characteristics as well as the intergovernmental support from the central government in two selected megacities, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

Findings

There are significant differences in local investment between the selected cities. Intergovernmental support from the central government, city development strategies, implementation perceptions of local governments and land supply, all significantly impact the selection of an affordable housing program and its overall implementation.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ understanding, this study would be one of the first to empirically explore the view of municipal public officials on affordable housing policy in China. This paper provides an empirical analysis from municipal public officials on the local implementation of affordable housing policies in China. As the outcome of housing policies actually depends on the implementation willingness of public officials and the overall performance of local governments, this explorative study would benefit the future development of China’s affordable housing policy.

Details

International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis, vol. 12 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8270

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Article
Publication date: 30 April 2021

Grichawat Lowatcharin, Charles Crumpton, Charles E. Menifield and Pummin Promsorn

Municipal amalgamation (or merger or consolidation) is commonly employed in countries around the world to improve efficiency in public service. While mergers occur among…

Abstract

Purpose

Municipal amalgamation (or merger or consolidation) is commonly employed in countries around the world to improve efficiency in public service. While mergers occur among jurisdictions of all sizes, the municipal amalgamation discourse is typically limited to one national setting and a focus on mergers of larger local jurisdictions. The existing municipal amalgamation literature pays little attention to predicate conditions for successful mergers. This study seeks to address these deficiencies by examining the premerger conditions and effects of municipal amalgamations that recently took place in four small jurisdictions of similar size in Thailand and the United States.

Design/methodology/approach

A holistic multiple case study approach was employed. These two cases share a geographical attribute: one municipal jurisdiction encircled by another.

Findings

The evidence indicates that factors associated with what the researchers refer to as “familiarity” facilitated both successful approval of and outcomes resulting from the amalgamation actions. While the study's findings align with international research regarding the potential for reducing administrative support costs through consolidation, its findings diverge from existing international evidence in that the evidence indicates operating effectiveness and efficiency improvements. Economies of scope and marginal economies of scale are in evidence. Although findings from this study indicate that there might be problematic effects regarding political representation and participation, in that the consolidated jurisdictions remain small in size, negative citizen engagement and participation consequences may be less than that evidenced in larger consolidated jurisdictions.

Originality/value

The study introduces the “familiarity” theorem as a theoretical lens to assist in understanding the cases.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 34 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2008

Louis J. Stewart and Carol A. Cox

We reviewed the fiscal 2003 financial statement footnote disclosures of the fifty states and the 100 largest cities in the United States (US) to ascertain the nature and…

Abstract

We reviewed the fiscal 2003 financial statement footnote disclosures of the fifty states and the 100 largest cities in the United States (US) to ascertain the nature and extent of derivative activities among US state and municipal governments. There were 23 state governments and 23 municipal governments that have engaged in such transactions with an aggregate notional value approaching $32 billion. These governments enter into these transactions primarily to hedge the interest rate and cash flow risks associated with their long term variable rate demand obligations and auction rate debt. Our findings also indicate that the widespread implementation of GASB TB 2003 - 1 has improved the quality of state and municipal disclosures with respect to their derivative activities. In June 2008, the GASB issued its Statement 53 which mandates the accounting measurement of these derivative financial instruments at their fair value on the statement of net assets and promises to further improve their footnote disclosure.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 20 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

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Article
Publication date: 31 May 2019

Laura Maran, Warwick Funnell and Monia Castellini

The purpose of this paper is to understand the enduring, fundamental contributions of accounting practices in the pursuit of decentralization by governments, with an…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand the enduring, fundamental contributions of accounting practices in the pursuit of decentralization by governments, with an examination of Peter Leopold’s reform of the municipalities in the late eighteenth century in Italy.

Design/methodology/approach

An extensive textual analysis of the very comprehensive collection of primary sources of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany during the de’ Medici and Hapsburg-Lorraine’s rule identified the reasons for Peter Leopold’s decision to decentralize his government’s authority and responsibilities. A systemic comparison of the 1765–1766 and 1775–1776 financial reports of the Municipality of Castrocaro and Terra del Sole disclosed the importance of the micro-practices of accounting and reporting for the reform.

Findings

In the context of the eighteenth century enlightenment, Peter Leopold legitimized his reform by the introduction of a modern style of government based on the rationalization of the municipal administrative system and decentralization of central authority and responsibility. The reform was made feasible by the substitution of a birth right principle with an economic discourse which linked tax payments to property ownership. This had the unintended consequence of increased taxes, higher municipal expenditures and possible inequalities between municipalities.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of the study are dependent on the resources which have survived and are now preserved in the official archives of Galeata and Florence. This work contributes to the extant literature on administrative reforms in a crucial period for the redefinition of sovereignty by the ruling classes, with the rise of the modern State. It extends historical understanding of the public sector with a focus on local government in the eighteenth century in a non-Anglo-Saxon context.

Practical implications

The examination of the reform of Peter Leopold contributes to an enhanced understanding of present-day decentralization by governments in the context of the new public management (NPM). It provides to NPM advocates a broader temporal and contextual understanding of the impact of current decentralization reforms.

Originality/value

Few accounting studies have considered the micro-aspects of decentralization reforms at the municipal level and tried to identify their impact on the wealth of the population. Moreover, Peter Leopold’s reform is considered one of the most innovative and enlightened of the eighteenth century, while the remainder of Europe was still overwhelmingly committed to the centralization of administrative apparatuses. Finally, this study relates to the multi-disciplinary debate about the recognition, qualification and accountization of the impact of decentralization of responsibility for the delivery of government services.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 32 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2009

Deborah A. Carroll and Justin Marlowe

Positive accounting theory suggests jurisdictions will meet their stakeholders’ financial information needs at the lowest possible cost, and current accounting policy will…

Abstract

Positive accounting theory suggests jurisdictions will meet their stakeholders’ financial information needs at the lowest possible cost, and current accounting policy will change if it does not accomplish that objective. This paper examines the breadth of stakeholders who are associated with accounting policy. We use multivariate methods to determine which among a group of potential users including taxpayers, interest groups, local government managers, the municipal credit market, and other governmental entities are correlated with accounting policy among municipal governments in Illinois. The results suggest one particular stakeholder - the municipal credit market - is an important determinant of the use of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). The analysis shows that professionalism, history, and administrative capacity are also associated with a municipality’s accounting policy.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 21 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2004

P. Edward French

The impact of form of government on municipal expenditures has been debated by several scholars and researchers over the past thirty years. Part of the support for…

Abstract

The impact of form of government on municipal expenditures has been debated by several scholars and researchers over the past thirty years. Part of the support for preference of the council-manager form of government over the other government forms relies on claims that the council-manager form provides increased efficiency in the operation of government. Results of numerous municipal expenditure studies, however, reveal that this outcome is not always clearly demonstrated. Almost all of this existing literature has utilized data from municipalities with populations greater than 25,000. This study evaluates the relationship between form of government and per capita expenditures in cities and towns with populations between 2,500 and 25,000. Survey data from 559 cities and towns are analyzed to determine whether or not their form of government can be significantly related to municipal per capita expenditures. Results of this analysis reveal that council-manager cities and towns exhibit significantly higher per capita expenditure levels than cities and towns with the non-council-manager forms of government.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 16 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

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