Print ISSN: 2204-1990

Online ISSN: 1323-6903

Issue 1,

Issue 1

Thrusters, Scoopers, Scroungers and Squirrels: A Taxonomy of Public Sector Audit and Accountability Mechanisms

Stuart Kells

Journal of Contemporary Issues in Business and Government, 2010, Volume 16, Issue 1, Pages 1-25

The concept of public sector accountability is attracting a great deal of attention both inside and outside the academy. Performance auditing is one of a large and growing number of mechanisms that are used to enhance accountability. Though it is an important and prominent feature of public administration in many countries, performance auditing is often said to be difficult to define. Kells and Hodge (2009) proposed a framework for defining performance auditing, which they then used to study other types of accountability and review mechanisms, including management audits, whistleblower laws, freedom of information laws, open book policies and citizen engagement models. This paper formalizes and generalizes Kells and Hodge’s framework. After expressing the framework using set function notation and concepts from game theory, the paper then applies the elements of the framework to develop a general taxonomy of audit and accountability mechanisms. The taxonomy is presented graphically, and then in the form of a new terminology of mechanism types. The paper concludes with directions for future research regarding the design and evaluation of accountability mechanisms

Transparency of Social and Environmental Disclosures by the Top French Companies

Greg Tower, Raja Adzrin, Raja Ahmad, Isabelle Pignatel, Tobias Hahn

Journal of Contemporary Issues in Business and Government, 2010, Volume 16, Issue 1, Pages 26-49

An investigation of the top 30 French listed companies reveals an overall 50.6% level of communication with small decreases in the social and environmental disclosures in parallel with the deepening economic recession in France. It is argued that the 2001 French regulations may need more rigorous regulatory enforcement and updated requirements consistent with the well known Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) benchmark list. The communication levels of the main social and environmental categories range from 31.1% for product responsibility issues to 56.7% for labour items. Yet, contentious labour concerns such as health and safety issues and employee turnover data decrease dramatically. Multiple regression analysis finds no support for the legitimacy theory hypotheses that size and profit will affect social and environmental disclosures. Instead, there seems to be more subtle changes in disclosure patterns with less transparency on 27 controversial labour issues perhaps somewhat masked by the substitution of other less worrisome topics

Impact of the Australian Government Economic Stimulus Package on Procurement

Emily Putnam

Journal of Contemporary Issues in Business and Government, 2010, Volume 16, Issue 1, Pages 50-67

In February 2009, the Federal Government announced a $42 billion ‘Nation Building – Economic Stimulus Plan’ (the Plan) in response to the Global Financial Crisis. The Plan involved a massive spending program on building infrastructure for the key areas of education, community infrastructure, road and rail, housing and renewable energy. This paper will examine two key areas of the Plan – education and renewable energy – with a focus on their impact on procurement and the lessons to be learnt. The education infrastructure spending program titled ‘Building the Education Revolution’ and the original renewable energy program which involved the Home Roofing Insulation Scheme have both received a plethora of media attention and public feedback, a large proportion of which has been negative. While generally the Plan has been considered beneficial for the Australian economy and a contributing factor to the country’s resilience to the worst of the Global Financial Crisis as seen in many other countries, the delivery of these key areas of the Plan have received criticism for the varying outcomes and benefits delivered for the procurement spend.

Towards Sustainable Freight Logistics in Desert Australia: A Framework for Analysing Options that Meet Economic, Environmental and Social Demands

Marnie Ireland , Maria Fay Rola-Rubzen , Guy Callender

Journal of Contemporary Issues in Business and Government, 2010, Volume 16, Issue 1, Pages 68-93

Establishing supply chains to improve delivery of goods and to source Aboriginal produce and on-sell products from remote communities offers significant opportunities for sustainable development and improved livability in remote communities. It also forces a revision of what constitutes efficient freight logistics in desert areas. In addressing challenges for freight services in Desert Australia the main research objective is to develop a methodology for evaluating current freight logistics using a set of metrics incorporating economic, environmental and social parameters. The structure of existing freight logistics models (generally based on algorithms of time, distance and cost) does not allow for the incorporation of environmental and social elements into an evaluation. Furthermore, the relevant literature demonstrates the shortcomings of this approach. Consequently, the paper outlines an extension of the Balanced Scorecard (BSC) approach to performance management (Kaplan & 69 Norton, 1992). The interrelationship of the four existing perspectives contained within this multi-dimensional performance measurement (MDPM) model have been extended to include social and environmental aspects

Sustainable Energy Management: Private Transportation and Taxation

Prafula Pearce

Journal of Contemporary Issues in Business and Government, 2010, Volume 16, Issue 1, Pages 94-118

In this article a case is made for the introduction of tax measures that affects sustainable energy use in the transport sector, particularly passenger vehicles in the road transport industry. This article explores whether there is a harmonious relationship between the transportation and tax policy in Australia and whether a change in tax policy is required to promote the use of more fuel efficient vehicles, vehicles using cleaner fuels, a reduction in the use of vehicles and reduction in congestion. The tax should relate to the power and weight of the vehicle and its use and not where the vehicles are manufactured. A new way of thinking is required as the world resource of liquid fuel is being depleted. It takes millions of years for our planet to produce liquid fuel, but it takes an instant to burn it, and once burnt, it is irrecoverable. Therefore, the Australian Government should take the responsibility and implement appropriate taxation policies to promote the efficient movement of people and goods with the least consumption of liquid oil.