Accountability reporting by faith based benevolent institutions

Kenneth Crofts

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paper

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Abstract

With the increasing devolution of service delivery from government to non profit organisations (NPOs), there has been an escalating flow of public funds to NPOs through a variety of funding mechanisms including grants, competitive tendering and annual funding allocations. Given this rise in publicly funded, but privately provided services, and the largely discretionary nature of grant funding, it is important for both the public funding agency and the funding recipient to be accountable for the use of these public funds. Concerns have been raised about the lack of public accountability where services traditionally carried out by the government have been devolved to private providers , yet there has been limited empirical research undertaken in Australia to determine the nature and extent of any accountability gap arising as a result of such arrangements. Of the limited empirical research that has been undertaken, most studies have examined public services devolved to private, for-profit providers as a result of outsourcing or other commercial arrangements such as public private partnerships (PPPs). There is a dearth of research relating to accountability for public services provide by public benevolent institutions in Australia, especially faith based organisations or religious institutions. This research paper reports on a study of three large religious institutions providing social services in eastern Australia. The research supports the proposition that NPOs have a far broader range of stakeholders than for profit organisations which intensifies the complexity of accountability reporting. Clients of welfare services were identified as a key stakeholder of the benevolent institutions and notions of client welfare, client ethics, client respect and client outcomes were identified as key accountability obligations. The paper investigates the notion of the sacred-secular divide and ascertains that the divide can be influenced somewhat by the organisationastructure of the religious institution.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDemonstrate!, 9th Biennial Conference
EditorsMaria Humphries
Place of PublicationAuckland
PublisherANZTSR
Pages1-22
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventAustralia and New Zealand Third Sector Research (ANZTSR) Biennial Conference - Auckland, New Zealand
Duration: 24 Nov 200826 Nov 2008

Conference

ConferenceAustralia and New Zealand Third Sector Research (ANZTSR) Biennial Conference
CountryNew Zealand
Period24/11/0826/11/08

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