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Australian public sector financial reporting: A case of cooperative policy formation

Ryan, Christine M. (1999) Australian public sector financial reporting: A case of cooperative policy formation. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 12(5), pp. 561-582.

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Abstract

In the past two decades, the public sector both in Australia and overseas has undergone a period of intense change. The focus has been on efficiency, effectiveness and value for money of public sector operations. The methods by which governments account and report on their operations has received scrutiny. While Treasuries and Departments of Finance in each Australian jurisdiction have traditionally formulated the reporting and accounting rules used in the public sector, since 1983, with the formation of the Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (PSASB), the accounting profession has become involved in the setting of accounting standards for the public sector. Several researchers have suggested that a ‘contest' exists between the accounting profession and the government regulators for control over the public sector accounting standards process. This paper explores the processes whereby the public sector in Australia formulates its financial reporting policies by examining the interactions between the PSASB and the government regulators in each of the Australian jurisdictions. Policy community and policy network theory are used to argue that policy is formulated by a `cooperative' grouping of accounting professionals from the central agencies of Treasuries and Departments of Finance and the PSASB. The paper concludes that this method of policy formulation has implications for the content of policy and for the access of stakeholders to the formulation of that policy.

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ID Code: 3603
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Australia, Public Sector, Financial Reporting, Policy
DOI: 10.1108/09513579910298471
ISSN: 0951-3574
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION (160500) > Public Policy (160510)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION (160500)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION (160500) > Public Administration (160509)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Copyright Owner: Copyright 1999 Emerald
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 09 Oct 2006
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2011 23:26

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