Contrast and Foundation of the Public Oversight Roles of the Us General Accountability Office and the UK National Audit Office
Public Administration Review, Forthcoming
31 Pages Posted: 11 Sep 2008
Date Written: April 15, 2008
This paper examines and compares, according to the new public management (NPM) approach, the United States watchdog, the General Accountability Office (GAO), in its ability to oversee and call to account the executive branch of government and its United Kingdom counterpart, the National Audit Office (NAO). Results of this examination indicate that the GAO is more effective than its UK counterpart. The greater effectiveness of the GAO may be that it derives its powers and legitimacy from the existence of a written constitution; in contrast, in the UK there is no equivalent 'sacrosanct' document defining the relationship between the state and the citizenry. As a consequence the powers, duties, and self-perception of the NAO are significantly weaker and more mutable than those of the GAO.
Keywords: Public oversight, new public management, General Accountability Office, GAO, National Audit Office, NAO
JEL Classification: M41, H1
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation