Constituent participation in the Australian public sector accounting standard setting process: The case of ED 55

Christine Ryan, Keitha Dunstan, Trevor Stanley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
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The Australian public sector has recently undergone a period of intense reform including a comprehensive reform of financial reporting policies. A major aspect of this reform is the involvement of the Australian accounting profession in the formulation of financial reporting standards through the Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (PSASB). Despite this extensive change, scant research has examined constituent participation in the Australian public sector accounting standard‐setting ‘due process’. This paper considers the regulatory model adopted for accounting standard‐setting in the public sector in Australia and identifies the implications of this model for constituent access to the ‘due process’. In particular, the co‐operation between the PSASB and the various regulatory bodies in each Australian jurisdiction suggests that these bodies may have more direct influence over the standard‐setters than other constituents. The submissions made on ED 55 Financial Reporting by Government Departments are examined as a case study of the ‘due process’ as it operates in the public sector. Different constituent groups were found to respond in varying proportions, to hold conflicting positions on some issues contained in ED 55 and to use different strategies to present these positions. The research identifies a lack of input by the major group affected by the proposed standard, the account preparers (government departments). In addition, account preparers which did respond to ED 55 were found to use less sophisticated lobbying strategies than other respondents who weighted their responses by commenting on a greater number of issues and by supporting their position with conceptual arguments. These results support the contention that some constituents have favourable access to the ‘due process’ and that standard‐setters may not have received all pertinent information from affected and/or knowledgeable constituents.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-200
Number of pages28
JournalFinancial Accountability and Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


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