Local Government Accounting Standard-setting in Australia: Did Constituents Participate?

Christine Ryan, Keitha Dunstan, Trevor Stanley

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Abstract

The Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (PSASB) has developed accounting standards for the public sector in Australia. A procedural ‘due process’ has been developed to protect the openness, neutrality and independence of Australian standard‐setting both in the private and public sectors. Prior research into constituent participation in the ‘due process’ for specific cases in the public sector has raised doubts as to whether the ‘due process’ operated in an open, neutral and independent manner. It has found that account preparers were under‐represented in their responses and used less sophisticated lobbying strategies than other respondents. The research also concluded that some constituents had favourable access to the ‘due process’, and that standard setters did not receive all pertinent information from constituents. This paper examines constituent participation in the ‘due process’ for the first public sector accounting standard, that for local government (AAS 27). The submissions made on the exposure draft preceding the standard –ED 50– have been analysed using content analysis. The findings suggest that account preparers were well‐represented in their responses and adopted the lobbying strategy of weighting their responses with supporting argument for the most controversial issues. Contrary to prior research, the paper concludes that in the case of ED 50 there is no evidence that the ‘due process’ failed to operate in an open and neutral manner.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-396
Number of pages24
JournalFinancial Accountability and Management
Volume16
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

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