Projects

The Centre has the following project in progress.

Commissioned book title:

The History, Roles, and Development of Public Accounts Committees: A Global Perspective

About the book

Over the recent decade, the public sector of most countries has undergone substantial reforms. Broadly speaking, these reforms have centred on the emergence of new public management ideas, improvement of accountability and governance, efficiency and effectiveness in public sector entities. Following western economies, many less developed countries (LDCs), and more recently, countries in transition from the communist to capitalist systems seek to undertake reforms in their accounting and accountability systems. Adoption of commercial principles and private sector type accounting systems has been an implication of recent public sector reforms worldwide.

The concept of public accountability process is largely determined by legislation and the parliamentary system of the country. Parliament provides the authority to manage public resources to executive government control by way of the budgetary process. The executive governments are accountable to parliament for the management and use of resources provided to them. Further, public accountability is one of the core foundations for good governance, which means the obligation to render accounts to discharge the responsibility conferred. Parliament makes audit arrangements that exist as part of the accountability of the executive to parliament. The general public expects more efficient and effective delivery of services from the government. Therefore, strengthening public financial accountability and management is crucial for economic growth and sustaining a strong economy.

It is now being recognised that introducing market-based or private sector type reforms without an effective parliamentary accountability structure frustrates rather than facilitates economic development. For LDCs, improved accountability and governance is essential to structural adjustment policies advocated by researchers. The aim of this book is to explore these issues further.

This proposal is for a research-based edited collection of articles on the rationales for current roles of the Public Accounts Committees using a number of case studies from different nations across the world. It will demonstrate how the Public Accounts Committees on government entities functions to strengthen public accountability, financial scrutiny and good governance in the changing public sector environment. Our understanding of the functioning of the Public Accounts Committee worldwide is limited. This book will draw from a wide range of nations from Africa, Asia, Pacific islands, and Europe with both Westminster and non-Westminster models of government. We believe papers from these countries on the role of the Public Accounts Committees will identify important issues pertinent to those interested in public sector accounting, accountability and governance.

This book will be a peer-reviewed commissioned collection of articles. Each submitted manuscript will be subject to the following review process:

  1. it will be reviewed by the Editors for its suitability for further refereeing and
  2. its final acceptance for publication will be subject to double blind peer review.

For further details about this project, please contact Professor Zahirul Hoque at z.hoque@latrobe.edu.au.