Control and legitimation in government accountability processes: the private finance initiative in the UK

Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10142/38574
Title:
Control and legitimation in government accountability processes: the private finance initiative in the UK
Authors:
Broadbent, Jane
Abstract:
This paper explores a number of dimensions of the accountability processes of governments. Accountability is associated with giving reasons for conduct for responsibilities or authority granted. A key argument of this paper is that governments make themselves accountable but only in a political, rather than managerial sense, resulting in, paradoxically, increasing, rather than decreasing forms of control over society. Due to their unique position in society, where their very existence is dependent upon them exercising control over other parts of society, anything they do has a controlling outcome. Coupling this with a lack of day by day control by the voting public, who have power to elect these bodies in western democracies but not a power to dictate practical action, leaves governments in a uniquely powerful position. Partly to avoid the searching questions from the public, resulting in more detailed forms of political accountability, and, following the logic of the paper, increasing control, governments have seen it appropriate to set up separate internal bodies (such as the auditor generals and the national audit offices) to demonstrate that they are subject to investigation. However, a further key argument of the paper is that, rather than providing an independent voice, auditor generals and the national audit offices provide legitimation to the original actions rather than a curtailment of these processes. The paper builds this complex argument conceptually and empirically. At a conceptual level it draws from a number of different literature bases to provide a “middle range" (Laughlin, 1995) theoretical schema. This is then amplified and developed through an empirical case in connection with the UK’s private finance initiative.
Publisher:
Elsevier
Journal:
Critical Perspectives on Accounting
Issue Date:
2003
URI:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/cpac.2001.0525
DOI:
10.1006/cpac.2001.0525
Type:
Article
Language:
en
ISSN:
1045-2354; 1095-9955
Appears in Collections:
Roehampton Business School Collection

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorBroadbent, Jane-
dc.date.accessioned2008-10-05T11:02:19Z-
dc.date.available2008-10-05T11:02:19Z-
dc.date.issued2003-
dc.identifier.issn1045-2354-
dc.identifier.issn1095-9955-
dc.identifier.doi10.1006/cpac.2001.0525-
dc.identifier.urihttp://dx.doi.org/10.1006/cpac.2001.0525-
dc.description.abstractThis paper explores a number of dimensions of the accountability processes of governments. Accountability is associated with giving reasons for conduct for responsibilities or authority granted. A key argument of this paper is that governments make themselves accountable but only in a political, rather than managerial sense, resulting in, paradoxically, increasing, rather than decreasing forms of control over society. Due to their unique position in society, where their very existence is dependent upon them exercising control over other parts of society, anything they do has a controlling outcome. Coupling this with a lack of day by day control by the voting public, who have power to elect these bodies in western democracies but not a power to dictate practical action, leaves governments in a uniquely powerful position. Partly to avoid the searching questions from the public, resulting in more detailed forms of political accountability, and, following the logic of the paper, increasing control, governments have seen it appropriate to set up separate internal bodies (such as the auditor generals and the national audit offices) to demonstrate that they are subject to investigation. However, a further key argument of the paper is that, rather than providing an independent voice, auditor generals and the national audit offices provide legitimation to the original actions rather than a curtailment of these processes. The paper builds this complex argument conceptually and empirically. At a conceptual level it draws from a number of different literature bases to provide a “middle range" (Laughlin, 1995) theoretical schema. This is then amplified and developed through an empirical case in connection with the UK’s private finance initiative.-
dc.description.provenanceSubmitted by Pat Simons (p.simons@roehampton.ac.uk) on 2008-10-05T11:02:19Z No. of bitstreams: 0en
dc.description.provenanceMade available in DSpace on 2008-10-05T11:02:19Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 0 Previous issue date: 2003en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherElsevier-
dc.titleControl and legitimation in government accountability processes: the private finance initiative in the UKen
dc.typeArticleen
dc.identifier.journalCritical Perspectives on Accountingen
All Items in RURR are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.