Reporting of Roads by NSW Local Councils: Survival of the Fittest

Robyn Pilcher

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    With the introduction of AAS 27 Financial Reporting by Local Governments, local councils were required to change dramatically their reporting of infrastructure assets, including road networks. This paper examines the recording, maintenance and depreciation of roads in a sample of NSW local councils. Inconsistencies highlighted suggest that whether councils report an operating surplus or an operating loss (due to the inclusion of a depreciation expense), influenced their willingness to comply with current reporting requirements. Also evident was the ability of perceptions of different stakeholders to influence accountants (agents) when reporting on infrastructure assets and resulting performance indicators. Issues identified provide enough doubts about whether councils can be held accountable in discharging their financial management duties under current legislation to warrant further investigation. The growing emphasis on perform or perish provides too little incentive for councils to manage their assets in a holistic manner.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)23-42
    Number of pages20
    JournalAccounting, Accountability and Performance
    Volume8
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2002

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