Accountability reporting for community and social welfare by a large benevolent institution: Who drives the process?

Kenneth Crofts

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

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Abstract

This research paper reports on a pilot study of one particular religious institution providing social services in eastern Australia. From the research it can be ascertained that the institution is aware of its accountability obligations to government funding providers in the form of reports and other information requested by government agencies. However, this is considered to be routine in nature and the managers in the organisation seem more focused on maintaining the public profile of the institution through meticulous reporting and controls within the accounting and accountability systems used throughout the institution. The use of accountability systems within the institution point to a stewardship view of accounting and accountability, rather than a sacred-secular divide where accounting and accountability are relegated to a support role being considered profane.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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication'Contemporary Issues in Public Management'
EditorsSandy Beach Sandy Beach
Place of PublicationBrisbane
PublisherFaculty of Business, Queensland University of Technology
Pages50-51
Number of pages2
ISBN (Electronic)1741072158
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventTwelfth Annual Conference of the International Research Society for Public Management 2008 - Brisbane, Queensland Australia, Australia
Duration: 26 Mar 200828 Mar 2008

Conference

ConferenceTwelfth Annual Conference of the International Research Society for Public Management 2008
CountryAustralia
Period26/03/0828/03/08

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