پاسخگویی و اداره شرکت با مشارکت بخش خصوصی و ذولتی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|266||2012||17 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||12890 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Critical Perspectives on Accounting, Volume 23, Issue 3, April 2012, Pages 213–229
Brennan and Solomon (2008) identify six new frontiers in accountability and corporate governance research to stimulate research. This paper contributes to such research by devising a reporting framework and research agenda that relates to Brennan and Solomon's fourth frontier, sectors and context, focusing on the regulated hybrid organisational forms of Public Private Partnerships, which operate at the interface of the public and private sectors. As the framework shows, these organisations are subject to multiple influences and demands. There is a need for more and different reporting than is the norm under the private sector's decision-useful reporting framework. Although the framework focuses on what Mulgan (2000) describes as the core of accountability, it is not only a financial reporting framework but it also seeks to make concrete Kamuf's (2007) argument that accountability might include accounting through narrative as well as the prevailing numeric evaluation. The paper stresses the need for information to be accessible to the public, and in particular argues that a stream of information between the public and private sector partners needs to be developed and disseminated to achieve accountability for public money that is increasingly spent in the private sector.
Brennan and Solomon (2008) identify six new frontiers to corporate governance and accountability research that are extending such research beyond the traditional and primarily quantitative approaches of prior research based pre-dominantly on agency theory. These authors seek thereby to stimulate the development of new approaches, using new theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches that examine new and different accountability mechanisms, sectors or contexts and timeframes. This paper pursues Brennan and Solomon's fourth frontier of corporate governance and accountability research: sectors and context. They note that accounting and finance research in this area has largely focused on the corporate sector, particularly listed companies, sidelining the direction and control of other types of organisations, particularly the public sector, although they do not identify the interface between the public and private sectors. This paper therefore examines the potential for corporate governance and accountability research in organisations that have been shaped by explicit public policy and regulation as part of New Public Management (NPM) reforms; the ‘regulated hybrids’ (Miller et al., 2008, p. 85). Internationally, NPM reforms have sought to reduce the scale and scope of the public sector in various ways. One objective has been to encourage the involvement of the private sector in managing and delivering infrastructure and services, previously the exclusive preserve of the public sector. In this context, the PPP has emerged as a hybrid with organisational structures that use resources from previously separate public and private entities. These increasingly popular hybrid forms of organisation are designed for risk sharing and co-production between government and private agents (Skelcher, 2005), and they have reformed and transformed the provision of services. The PPP concept encompasses a wide range of different arrangements or as Hodge and Greve (2007) describe it, at least five families of arrangements, some of which are purely economic arrangements, while others seek to learn new ways of producing and delivering services and sharing risks and rewards (Hodge and Greve, 2005). In this paper, we focus on PPPs that exhibit three key elements. Firstly, they involve clearly defined projects, the risks and rewards of which are shared between the public and private sectors. That is, usually a long-term relationship between a public sector procurer and multiple private sector companies exists to design and construct infrastructure, maintain it and provide some related services. Compared with traditional modes of procurement, PPPs represent highly complex contractualisations of bundled infrastructure arrangements (Hodge and Greve, 2007), which transform the public sector from provider to purchaser. The public sector and the companies that provide the various contractual services must manage their relationships over the long-term. Secondly, the projects have decision-making, construction, operation and termination stages during which different types of information are needed for public accountability purposes. Thirdly, a bank or financial institution provides private finance for projects that traditionally have been publicly financed. This partnership policy transforms the nature of service provision. Whereas previously, the state exercised coordination and steering through hierarchy, bureaucracy and detailed regulation, the PPP ‘regulated hybrid’ creates governance through networks based on interdependence, negotiation and trust among a number of public and private actors (Bevir, 2004 and Sørensen and Torfing, 2005). The aspiration is for a hybridising of expertise, modes of working and modes of delivering services (Miller et al., 2008). However, one implication of this transformation is that much public expenditure is now outside direct state control. This raises questions about whether the system of public expenditure reporting and disclosure can deliver accountability for public monies and services (Skelcher, 2005), especially in the context of hybrid organisational forms, where there are altered corporate governance and accountability assumptions and arrangements (Hodge and Greve, 2007). In these hybrids, where there is blurring of the boundary between the public and private sectors, private sector corporate governance which is focused on the relationship between a for-profit organisation and its shareholders, has intruded into a well established, although changing, public sector accountability regime. The public sector accountability regime, which recognises multiple stakeholders, has sometimes been categorised into two aspects which we explain further below: an upward accountability through public sector hierarchies and processes to Parliament and a downward accountability to citizens. The research approach in this paper is to explore the problematical interrelationships between downward accountability to citizens and private sector corporate governance within the setting of PPPs. While accountability may have wide ranging meanings and may be achieved in many different ways, this paper focuses on transparency and the information disclosures that are needed to achieve accountability to citizens, and in particular the role of financial reporting in providing relevant information. While there has been an increased awareness of the role of annual reporting in discharging accountability obligations (Ryan et al., 2002), there is little accounting literature that examines how accountability can be, or is, delivered by means of financial reporting and disclosure in relation to hybrid organisations. The paper has three research questions. Firstly, from corporate governance and public accountability perspectives what are the significant influences over and demands upon the hybrid organisational structure? Secondly, what is the role of financial reporting and corporate governance disclosure in delivering accountability to citizens within this complex organisational form? Thirdly, what questions does this organisational form raise about corporate governance and accountability for accounting researchers? In order to answer the first two questions, the paper devises a reporting framework based on relevant literature, which includes the influences over and demands upon these organisations from both the public and private sector traditions. Although, PPPs have been widely adopted internationally using a range of organisational structures, we use a British variant – the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) – as an exemplar of the corporate governance and accountability environment of these ‘regulated hybrid’ organisational structures. Since Britain's PFI model1 was one of the earliest forms of PPP, there is now a considerable body of directly relevant PFI literature to draw upon to create our framework. The framework develops the work of Smith et al. (2006), discussed further below, who argue that corporate governance and accountability are multi-faceted concepts in the public sector, but they draw attention to the democratic deficit exhibited by partnership arrangements in relation to citizens. Although corporate governance is usually explained in terms of directing and controlling entities, in reality it may encompass the way in which various stakeholders interact with one another (Hyndman and McDonnell, 2009). Thus, the framework recognises that reporting by hybrid partnerships must address multiple information needs, if it is to play a role in achieving both the objectives of private sector corporate governance and public sector accountability, especially the downward accountability to citizens. From this framework, the paper draws out a research agenda specifically for accounting researchers, in order to answer the third question. Both the framework and research agenda recognise explicitly that two regimes, each with different reporting needs, co-exist, possibly in competition. The paper argues that firstly, a distinction needs to be drawn between corporate governance in the private and public sectors. In the former sector, where the corporate governance tradition is very narrowly focused, there has been an attempt to either limit information asymmetries or specify information flows between some central players (Hood, 2006), normally by means of disclosure in financial statements. The regulators’ intention is that better quality information, especially of a financial nature, enables shareholders to make better-informed investment decisions. In recent times, this practice has in a number of countries been transferred to the public sector, where its relevance may be questioned. Secondly, this financially focused private sector corporate governance tradition meets an alternative tradition of public accountability in Westminster-style government processes that is so broadly based that it has been described as a chameleon-like term attached to a wide range of causes and agendas (Dubnick and Justice, 2006). Nevertheless, it is an established principle that citizens, or at least their representatives, can see how society's resources are used and that no members of society have an explicitly sanctioned unfair advantage over others in relation to how those resources are spent. While the purpose of this accountability tradition is less clear-cut, we are adopting an ethical perspective in relation to stakeholders (Deegan and Unerman, 2011, p. 349). That is, we adopt a normative position that citizens have certain rights, including the right to information, about how they should be treated by an organisation regardless of their role in relation to that organisation. At a minimum, even if this has not occurred previously under public sector reporting, information should be transferred so that the parties to whom an organisation is accountable can compel it to adjust its behaviour on the basis of information provided (Hyndman and McDonnell, 2009). Financial reporting, while not the only possible source, is a major source of such information. Thirdly, the corporate governance structures of the private sector are fundamentally different to those of the public sector, raising questions about the nature of accountability in these hybrid organisations. For example, the procedural regularity and transparency that informs the normative practice of government is tested by private actors with their conventions of commercial confidence in pursuit of competitive advantage, because confidentiality is as much part of the core value set of business as transparency is allegedly that of government (Skelcher, 2005). Fourthly, the context of hybrid organisations offers a challenging arena in which to develop new approaches to corporate governance research, because the realities of the new public sector have exposed an accountability gap between accountability doctrine, conventions and reality and a need for hybrid models of accountability (Sands, 2006). In hybrid organisational structures where the boundaries between the public and private sector are blurred, there are three separate sets of demands variously impacting on the network of organisations. These demands emanate from traditional private sector corporate governance, from corporate governance as it has transferred to the public sector, and from traditional public sector accountability, albeit an accountability that has changed as the public sector has been reformed. The paper is organised into five further sections. The next (second) section briefly examines the contextual environment of PFIs, in terms of their reporting, public accountability and corporate governance. It examines both the public and private sector contexts since both affect the hybrid PPP type organisation. The third section demonstrates that PFIs represent a new and special accountability case, because of the role of private finance, the relationships between the multiple entities, and the payment mechanism, which relies on performance measurement systems controlled by the private sector. The fourth section develops an accountability-based reporting framework the work of Smith et al. (2006). A fifth section sets out suggestions for future research based on this framework. The final section makes some brief concluding remarks.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Brennan and Solomon (2008) have identified six new frontiers in accountability and corporate governance research as a means of stimulating such research. The contribution of this present paper is to devise a reporting framework and research agenda that relates to Brennan and Solomon's fourth frontier, sectors and context, with a specific focus on the regulated hybrid organisational forms of PPPs, which operate at the interface of the public and private sectors. To help focus the discussion the paper uses as an exemplar of PPPs the British PFI because it is one of the earliest forms of PPP so that there is a body of directly relevant literature to draw upon. This begs the question whether the influences over and demands upon PFIs identified in the framework are relevant to other types of PPP arrangement in other countries. The paper has identified tension between on the one hand the public sector traditions of accountability to multiple stakeholders in a Westminster style democracy, and on the other hand reporting that in the UK is dominated by IFRS in both public and private sectors. In other Westminster style democracies and in countries such as Germany and Scandinavia, where there is more stakeholder emphasis than the UK, similar tensions may be expected between the traditions of accountability and the incoming financial accounting regulations. However, in most other countries the public sector partners’ reporting will follow IPSASB not IFRS. It is however too early to determine the effect of IPSASB as there is a lack of research on its impacts in this area. As the framework shows the hybrid PPP organisations suffer the problems of too many eyes – many account-receivers – (Bovens, 2005). Although mindful of these problems, essentially this reporting framework suggests the need for more and different reporting than is the norm under the private sector's decision-useful reporting framework. It may require more reporting than is currently being signalled by IPSASB (2006) which has called for more comprehensive financial statements to meet the needs of service users and citizens. Although the framework focuses on what Mulgan (2000) describes as the core of accountability it is not only a financial reporting framework. The nature of additional information needed to satisfy in particular the downward stream of accountability, the accountability elements of board member conduct and public access, and the critical evaluation of the policy may require disclosure of related non-financial information. That is, the framework seeks to make concrete Kamuf's (2007) argument that accountability might include accounting through narrative as well as the prevailing numeric evaluation. Importantly, information needs to be disseminated in ways that meet the needs of public accessibility. Significantly, this additional reporting is required not only from the public but from the private sector also. That is, we suggest, private companies must pay a price for becoming involved in the provision of public services; less confidentiality and more transparency and public accountability. From the framework, a research agenda is identified, that especially recognises that public sector organisations do not share the homogeneity of large listed corporations, and that their private sector partners may be of subsidiary company status. That is, the framework identifies the need for research that recognises the organisational context and considers how appropriate information can be made available. Literature advises that the costs and benefits of additional reporting need to be weighed carefully in relation to behavioural changes that may follow from transparency. Our hope is that public policy can be debated in a more informed way if: such research enables assessments of the quality of information routinely made available; identifies new information that can be routinely released; identifies and disseminates good reporting practice; and thus enables a systematic evaluation of partnership working. There are many forms of PPP type arrangements internationally that potentially raise similar accountability issues to those we have identified in relation to the UK's PFI, so that this framework is expected to have wider applicability, although this must be tested empirically.