Australian public sector financial reporting: A case of cooperative policy formulation: WORKING PAPER No. 1998-001

Ryan, Christine M. (1998) Australian public sector financial reporting: A case of cooperative policy formulation: WORKING PAPER No. 1998-001. QUT.


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 neither group ‘controls' the process, but rather 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: 858
Item Type: Report
Refereed: No
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Policy formulation, Australia, Public Sector Accounting Standards Board, public sector, public sector financial reporting, public sector accounting standards, Departments of Finance, Treasuries
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > ACCOUNTING AUDITING AND ACCOUNTABILITY (150100)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Copyright Owner: Copyright 1998 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 17 Mar 2005 00:00
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2011 13:24

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