In the Name of Accountability - State Auditing, Independence and New Public Management
Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 14, No. 3, 2001
Posted: 26 May 2013 Last revised: 27 Jun 2013
Date Written: May 1, 2000
This article investigates the role of the state auditor in Alberta. An analysis of the Office of the Auditor General of Alberta’s annual reports shows that the role of the Office has significantly changed to promote and encourage the implementation in the public sector of a particular type of accountability informed by new public management. The authors argue that the Office has increased its power to influence politicians and public servants about the merits of its specific understanding of what accountability should be. However, as the Office becomes more powerful, it also becomes more vulnerable to complaints about a lack of independence from the executive. Indeed, the Office is now so closely associated with new public management that we believe that it is difficult for the Office to sustain the claim that it is able to provide independent assessments of public-sector administration.
Keywords: Accountability, Auditing, Canada, Financial management, Local government
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