A Study of the Co-ordination of Mission, Objectives and Targets in UK Executive Agencies
Queen's University Belfast
University of Ottawa
As published in Management Accounting Research, Vol 11, No 2, June 2000
The growth of Executive Agencies (agencies) in the UK public sector has been rapid. While the first agency was established as recently as 1988, by September 1998 over 75 per cent of civil servants were working in such organisations. They were created to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the delivery of central government services. The efficacy of a rational management model was promulgated and the need to plan and control the performance of agencies, as a basis for performance improvement, articulated. This led to a greater focus on targeting and measuring performance. This paper provides an outline of the case for, and potential problems, of the use of a highly rational model of management in the public sector, with its focus on quantification. Through an empirical analysis of 48 planning documents, the degree to which the mission statements, objectives and targets in the Corporate and business Plans of agencies are coordinated, or linked, in a rational manner is identified. The main finding of the research is that although significant gaps exist, the planning documents of executive agencies appear to be more coordinated in terms of their use of objectives and targets than was evidence in earlier research in other parts of the public sector.
Key Words: Execuitve agencies; Public sector accounting; Performance Targets; Performance measurement; Planning and control
JEL Classification: M40, M46, H11, D23Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: August 6, 2000
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