In the Name of Accountability - State Auditing, Independence and New Public Management

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 14, No. 3, 2001

University of Alberta School of Business Research Paper No. 2013-138

Posted: 26 May 2013 Last revised: 27 Jun 2013

See all articles by Yves Gendron

Yves Gendron

Université Laval

David J. Cooper

University of Alberta - Department of Accounting, Operations & Information Systems

Barbara Townley

University of Alberta

Date Written: May 1, 2000

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Gendron, Yves and Cooper, David J. and Townley, Barbara, In the Name of Accountability - State Auditing, Independence and New Public Management (May 1, 2000). Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 14, No. 3, 2001 , University of Alberta School of Business Research Paper No. 2013-138, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2269931

Yves Gendron

Université Laval ( email )

Faculte des sciences de l'administration
2325 rue de la Terrasse, Local 2636
Quebec City, Quebec G1V 0A6
Canada
418-656-2131 ext. 2431 (Phone)
418-656-7746 (Fax)

David J. Cooper (Contact Author)

University of Alberta - Department of Accounting, Operations & Information Systems ( email )

Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R6
Canada

Barbara Townley

University of Alberta ( email )

Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R3
Canada

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