Public Sector Auditing: Is it Value for Money?

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John Wiley & Sons, Jul 31, 2008 - Business & Economics - 426 pages
Drawing on 20 years of experience as Comptroller and Auditor General, and head of the United Kingdom National Audit Office, Public Sector Auditing: Is it Value for Money? is Sir John Bourn’s own account of the role and influence value for money auditing has in holding governments to account and in helping public bodies improve the ways in which they deliver services.

Key features include:

  • In-depth case studies from UK, US, Canada, China, India and Australia;
  • Detailed analysis of complex areas of public expenditure such as health, education, privatisation, regulation, defence and IT;
  • Examples of how auditing can promote positive outcomes rather than negative post mortems.

This book is relevant for people working in both the public and private sectors, and should be essential reading for the staff of public sector audit institutions around the world, as well as commercial accountancy firms and students of accountancy, politics, economics and public management.


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1 Introduction
2 Why Bureaucracy Will Never Work
3 The Failure to Analyse Outcomes
4 How Effective Audit can be Secured The Auditor as Soach and Mentor Rather than Critic and Nark
5 Privatisation The Alternative to Bureaucracy?
6 Public Private Partnerships Another Option
7 Regulations Bureaucracys Tentacles
10 Vulnerability to Fraud Theft and Corruption
11 Programme and Project Management Bureaucracies Weakest Link?
12 Performance Measurement Clarity or Confusion?
13 Organising the Audit
14 Concluding Thoughts
Appendix Value for Money Methodology

8 Meeting Citizens Needs Quality of Public Services
9 Risk Averse or Risk Ignorant?

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About the author (2008)

Sir John Bourn is the Comptroller and Auditor General of the United Kingdom and head of the National Audit Office. He, and the National Audit Office, are totally independent of Government. He certifies the accounts of all UK Government Departments and a wide range of other public sector bodies; and he has statutory authority to report to Parliament on the economy, efficiency and effectiveness with which departments and other bodies use their resources.
In March 2006, Sir John was appointed by the Prime Minister as the Independent Adviser on Ministers’ Interests.
Sir John is a member of the Financial Reporting Council. He is also Chairman of the Council’s Professional Oversight Board and a member of the Financial Reporting Review Panel.
Sir John is a visiting Professor at the London School of Economics and an Honorary Fellow of the University of Brighton and the London School of Economics. He is also a Companion of the Institute of Management and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply.
Sir John is Chairman of the Multilateral Audit Advisory Group of the World Bank and a member of the United Nations Panel of External Auditors and the Governing Board of the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions.

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