Protecting 'Public Interest' in Modernised Skies
affiliation not provided to SSRN
Macquarie University - Department of Accounting and Finance; University Of Bologna - Department of Management
September 3, 2008
The 5TH International Conference on Accounting, Auditing & Management in Public Sector Reforms, Amsterdam
The objective of this paper is to critique the modernization of an essential public service - Air Navigation Services (ANS) - since the early 1980s. The paper focuses on the changes to the financial management and accountability regimes of four Anglo-American ANS providers.
Frederickson and Smith (2003) state that lines of political control and hierarchical authority have been strained by the devolution of regulatory policy to autonomous entities. Traditional notions of parliamentary accountability have suffered with the emergence of collaborative forms of governance and alternative delivery systems. Nevertheless, the public holds government ultimately responsible for the performance of ANS providers. In order to protect the 'public interest' while maintaining arm's length control, various governments have introduced 'managerialist' instruments of accounting, budgetary control, auditing and quality assurance (Lapsley, 2008).
The modernization of ANS are examined using Considine's (2001) governance models and the financial management and accountability technologies utilized to implement control and monitor change. Fundamental issues in the financial management reforms are accountability, accounting and reporting, and performance monitoring (English et al., 2005, p. 23).
A contextual, historical view of ANS from the mid 1980s to 2007 is provided with a view to identifying and accounting for the pattern of similarities and differences in reform trajectories. The findings from the four cases studied highlight a move away from ex ante controls (rules), towards ex post control systems in which outcomes are held up to scrutiny through financial reporting mechanisms. Data reveals a significant increase in the use of quantitative performance indicators (PI) and performance audit. However, their prevalence and type are not uniform across all governance models for ANS.
In conclusion, it is argued that there is no single model of public service modernization. In practice, the diffusion and adoption of new reform doctrines varies from one location to another, reflecting the different weightings attached by reformers to traditional and new public service values.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 31
Keywords: Modernisation of an Essential Public Service, Air Navigation Services, ANS, Financial Management, Accountability Regimes, ANS Providers, Modernisation of ANS, Historical view of ANS
JEL Classification: M4, M40, M41, M49Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: March 13, 2009
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