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The enactment of auditability: Developing value for money (VFM) Audit practice in the State of Victoria

Dahanayake, Sunil J.

Description

Recent literature has highlighted the importance of examining the practices of auditing. However, most of the focus of previous literature has been on front stage elements, such as the audit reports and annual reports. Relatively little attention has been paid to backstage elements, such as the audit methodologies and strategic planning processes that underpin the performance of auditability. Power (1996, 1997, 2003b), Khalifa et al. (2007) and Robson et al. (2007) argue that it is necessary to...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorDahanayake, Sunil J.
dc.date.accessioned2014-03-31T06:29:34Z
dc.date.available2014-03-31T06:29:34Z
dc.date.created2013
dc.identifier.otherb35684173
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/11513
dc.description.abstractRecent literature has highlighted the importance of examining the practices of auditing. However, most of the focus of previous literature has been on front stage elements, such as the audit reports and annual reports. Relatively little attention has been paid to backstage elements, such as the audit methodologies and strategic planning processes that underpin the performance of auditability. Power (1996, 1997, 2003b), Khalifa et al. (2007) and Robson et al. (2007) argue that it is necessary to understand both the audit context and the audit methodologies that underpin audit practice in order to understand how auditability is constructed. This thesis examines how regimes of auditability associated with the value for money (VFM) audit are created and enacted and focuses on the key elements of the VFM audit process namely: audit methodologies, strategic planning process and audit environment with three research questions. The three research questions addressed in this study are: how are VFM audit methodologies developed; how does the role of VFM audit methodology, as reflected by VFM audit process, change over time; how is VFM audit enacted through the strategic planning process. These research questions are explored in the context of the Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) between 1982 and 2007. The construction of auditability is theorised by applying the concepts of framing and overflowing (Goffman 1959, 1974; Callon 1998, 1999). This study is informed by qualitative research methodology—particularly research methods attributable to critical and interpretive approaches. This study recognises three different roles that VFM audit methodologies can play (accounting device, change enabler and inscription) and that influence audit practice differentially. This study concludes that the role of VFM audit methodologies in creating auditability can change over time. It finds that the VAGO developed VFM audit methodologies to produce four categories of focus frames as VFM audit reports: auditing frames, management consultancy frames, legal frames and research frames. This study concludes that the strategic planning devices became a powerful representation material in creating an interactional link between VFM audit methodologies and the audit environment. Those strategic plans were embedded with power in order to influence and activate the VFM audit practice in harmonising the relationship between the VAGO and other actors/stakeholders in the VFM audit. The findings suggest that the VAGO developed the audit environment by implementing corporate and annual plans from 1986, and that developing VFM audit methodologies and creating an audit environment receptive to those methodologies by the VAGO established its jurisdictional rights in this area. This is reflected in the fact that the VAGO is considered an expert on VFM audit in Victoria by the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) of the Victorian Parliament. This study extends the argument that auditing methodologies are not passive scripts—they work as inscriptions in processing data and information to produce VFM audit reports, and provide legitimacy for public sector organisational operations. This study argues that the construction of auditability for the VFM audit is unique and it involves the development of audit methodologies and enacting them through the process of strategic planning by an Auditor-General’s Office.
dc.language.isoen_AU
dc.subjectVFM audit
dc.subjectnew public management
dc.subjectpublic sector audit
dc.subjectconstruction of auditability
dc.titleThe enactment of auditability: Developing value for money (VFM) Audit practice in the State of Victoria
dc.typeThesis (PhD)
local.contributor.supervisorJacobs, Kerry
local.contributor.supervisorcontactK.Jacobs@adfa.edu.au
dcterms.valid2013
local.description.notesSupervisor: Professor Kerry Jacobs, Supervisor's Email Address: K.Jacobs@adfa.edu.au
local.description.refereedYes
local.type.degreeDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
dc.date.issued2014-03-31
local.contributor.affiliationCollege of Business and Economics
local.identifier.doi10.25911/5d7396356358e
local.mintdoimint
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