Students will explore the role of accounting and accountability in the Australian public sector. The subject covers the social and economic importance of the public sector in Australia; the obligations of governments to be accountable for the use of public funds; and the ways in which governments account for the use of resources in implementing social and economic policies.
Specific issues covered include the role of the Auditor-General in the accountability process, the measurement and reporting of public sector assets and liabilities, the shift from cash to accrual accounting and the legal and accounting standard requirements of financial reporting in the public sector. SUBJECT INTENDED LEARNING OUTCOMES (SILOS) Upon successful completion of this subject, you should be able to: 1 Describe the nature and need for the framework for public sector accounting, and financial reporting in the public sector 2 Describe and discuss the systems of public sector accountability and the dynamics of these systems 3.
Discuss recent reforms to accounting in the public sector and their effects 4 Review literature, collect data and write a short report on a public sector issue 5 Read, summarise and present an academic article in class FACULTY GRADUATE CAPABILITIES The following Faculty Graduate Capabilities (FGCs) are evaluated in this subject: FGC FGC Point a Knowledge of the subject Capstone b Writing Capstone c Speaking Capstone d Critical thinking Capstone e Inquiry/research Capstone f Creative problem solving Capstone g Teamwork Capstone LEARNING ACTIVITY SUMMARY Learning Activity: Schedule
Lecture: Delimiting the boundaries of the public sector Week 1 Tutorial: None Week 1 Lecture: Accountability: meaning and dimensions Week 2 Tutorial: Explain expectations and form teams Discussion Question (DQ): How different is the public sector from the private? Has this always been so? Week 2 Lecture: The conceptual framework of public sector financial accounting Week 3 Tutorial: DQ. What is accountability? How have reforms in the public sector affected accountability? Week 3 Lecture: The Australian Government framework of public sector financial reporting Week 4 Tutorial: Presentation DQ.
What is a conceptual framework, what is it is purpose? What is the IPSAB’s conceptual framework of financial reporting? Week 4 Lecture: The Shift from cash to accrual accounting in the public sector Week 5 Tutorial: Presentation DQ. Describe the requirements of the framework of financial reporting of the Australian public sector. Week 5 Lecture: The use of private sector accounting standards in the public sector Week 6 Tutorial: Presentation DQ. What are the benefits and dangers of the shift to accrual accounting in the public sector? Week 6 Lecture: Accounting for the whole of government.
DQ. What are the benefits and limits of the shift to private sector accounting standards? Week 7 Tutorial: Presentation Week 7 Lecture: Accounting for assets (including heritage assets and land under roads) Week 8 Tutorial: Presentation DQ. What are the benefits and limits of the shift to whole of government accounting in the public sector? Week 8 Lecture: Process of budgeting in the Australian public sector Week 9 Tutorial: Presentations DQ. What are the accounting standard provisions regarding land under roads and heritage assets? What are the limits of these provisions? Week 9.
Lecture: The Australian Government Budgeting Framework: from inputs to outputs and outcomes Week 10 Tutorial: Presentation DQ. Describe the Australian Government budgetary process. What is its purpose and how transparent is the budgetary process? Week 10 Lecture: Role of Public Accounts Committees in financial accountability Week 11 Tutorial: Presentation DQ. What are inputs, outputs and outcomes? Is an outcomes budget practicable? Week 11 Lecture: Role of the Auditor General in financial accountability Week 12 Tutorial: Presentation DQ. Can Public Accounts Committees be transparent and effective?
Can they be independent? Week 12 Lecture: NONE Week 13 Tutorial: DQ. Can the Auditor General be truly independent? What is the role of the AG in a democratic system? Week 13 TIMEATABLE Further information is available at http://www. latrobe. edu. au/timetable/ ASSESSMENT AND FEEDBACK SUMMARY Assessment Tasks: Due Date % Comments Class participation and tutorial activities From week 4 10% Attendance is compulsory to get a score on this assessment Group class presentation From week 4 15% Group Written Project 22nd May 2013 25% Max 3500 words; 3 students per group Final exam TBA by LTU Exams Office 50%.
The examination covers all lecture and tutorial discussions (week 1 – week 13 inclusive) LEARNING RESOURCES Reading Type Title Author and Year Publisher Lecture 1 The Australian public sector and new governance The “New Public Management in the 1980s”: Variations on a theme Moon J. (1999) Hood, C. (1995) Australian Journal of Public Administration, Vol. 58, No. 2, pp. 112-120. Accounting Organisations and Society Vol 20 No. 2/3, pp. 93-109. Lecture 2 Dynamics of public sector accountability in the era of reform Accountability in the privatised state Romzek, B. (2000) Hodge, G. A. , and K. Coghill (2007).
International Review of Administrative Sciences, 66(21): 19-42. Governance: An International Journal of Policy, Administration and Institutions, Vol. 20, No. 4, pp. 675-702. Lecture 3 The Conceptual Framework for general Purpose Financial Reporting by Public Sector Entities Capital accounting, user needs and the foundations of a conceptual framework for public sector financial reporting International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) 2013 Mayston, D. (1992) International Federation of Accountants (2013). Financial Accountability and Management Vol. 8, No. 4, pp. 227-248. Lecture 4.
Reflections on the theoretical underpinnings of the general- purpose financial reports of Australian government departments. The use and abuse of accounting in the public sector Financial Management Reform Program in Australia Mack, K, J. and C. Ryan (2006) Barton, A. K. (2009) Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal Vol. 19, No. 4, pp. 592-612. ABACUS, Vol. 45, No. 2, pp. 221-248 Lecture 5 Mind your accruals: perceived usefulness of financial information in the Australian public sector under three different accounting systems Debating the impact of accrual accounting and reporting in the public sector.
Kober, R. , Lee, J. and N. Juliana (2010) Carlin, T. M. (2005) Financial Accountability and Management Vol. 26, No. 3, pp. 267-298. Financial Accountability and Management Vol. 21 No. 3, pp. 309-335. Lecture 6 Globalization: Governmental accounting and International reporting Standards Professional accounting standards and the public sector – A mismatch Robb, A. and S. Newberry (2007) Barton, A. (2005) Socio-Economic Review, Vol 5, pp. 725-754. Abacus Vol. 41, No. 2, pp. 138-158. Lecture 7 Developing whole of government accounting in the UK: Grand claims, practical complexities and a suggested future research agenda Public sector consolidated statements – An assessment Chow, S. L.
D. , Humphrey, C. and J. Moll (2007) Walker, R. G. (2009) Financial Accountability and Management Vol 23, No. 1, pp. 27-54. Abacus Vol 45, No. 2, pp. 171-220. Lecture 8 Making accounting accountable in the public sector A trusteeship theory of accounting for natural capital assets. Carnegie, G. D. and B. P. West (2005) Barton, A. (1999). Critical Perspectives on Accounting Vol. 16, pp. 905-928. Abacus Vol 35, No. 2, pp. 207-222. Lecture 9 Managing Public Expenditure in Australia (Chapter 1 & 2).
Australia after budgetary reform: A lapsed pioneer or decorative architect Wanna, J. , Kelly, J. and J. Forster (2000) Hawke, L. and J. Wanna (2010) Allen and Unwin In Wanna, J. , Lotte, L. and J. de Vries, The Reality of reform in Budgetary Nations: Trajectories and Consequences, Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 65-90. Lecture 10 Crashing through with Accrual-Output Price Budgeting in Australia : Technical Adjustment or a New Way of Doing Business? Output purchase funding and budgeting systems in the public sector Kelly J. and J. Wanna (2004) Robinson, M. (2003) The American Review of Public Administration, Vol. 34, No.
1, pp 94-111. Public Budgeting and Finance Vol 22, No. 4, pp. 17-33. Lecture 11 Parliament scrutiny of government performance in Australia. Principles and patterns of financial scrutiny: public Accounts Committees in the Commonwealth. Thomas, P. G. (2009) Wehner, J. (2003) The Australian Journal of Public Administration 68(4): 373-398. Commonwealth and Comparative Politics Vol. 41, No. 3, pp. 21-36. Lecture 12 Emasculating public accountability in the name of competition: Transformation of state audit in Victoria Enduring fundamentals: Constitutional accountability and Auditors-General in the reluctant state.
English, L. (2003) Funnell, W. (2003) Critical Perspectives on Accounting 14, pp. 51-76. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, Vol. 14, pp. 107-132. STUDENT FEEDBACK ON SUBJECT SURVEY The Student Feedback on Subjects (SFS) Survey is part of the quality assurance process that occurs across the university. In this survey you are invited to tell us about your learning experiences in this subject. Your views will be taken seriously and will assist us to enhance this subject for the next group of students. The surveys are anonymous and will be distributed prior to the end of the teaching period.
ASSESSMENT AND FEEDBACK DETAILS Assessment Task Due Date % SILOs Assessed Group written assignment 22nd May 2013 25% A,b,d,e,f,g Submission Details 1. Submit one hard copy of the assignment on the due date during the lecture time; 2. Include a cover page of the assignment, which should contain the students’ full names and ID numbers; 3. Completed assignments submitted with one name or more than THREE names will not be marked. If individual students have difficulty in achieving a placement in a group they should contact the subject COORDINATOR for help; 4.
Each member of a group has not only a RIGHT, BUT a RESPONSIBILITY to make an active contribution towards the completion of the group project; 5. A GROUP STATEMENT declaring that each member of the group has made a joint and equitable contribution in writing the assignment is required to be attached with the report. This statement is to be signed by each member of the group in order to be awarded a mark for the assignment. This is to ensure that the information provided is an accurate record of each individual’s input to the project. The project will not be assessed if the above document is not attached to the project as an Appendix.
Grading Criteria and Feedback Marks will be awarded for a report that communicates your findings in a way that is logical and easy to read and understand and hopefully enjoy, that is pleasing to the eye and follows accepted writing and presentation styles (e. g. Chicago Manual Style). Description of Task Form yourselves into groups consisting of THREE members. For each group, select one public sector department, authority, or company then: Describe how it discharges its accountability and discuss whether this entity adequately discharges its accountability to the public.
You are required to study the annual reports, websites and any information on the entity so as to write your report. Assessment Task Group presentation Due Date % SILOs Assessed Group presentation Staring from Week 4 till week 13. 15% A,c,d,e,f,g Submission Details Turn up in class and set up your equipment in time on the day of the presentation. Grading Criteria and Feedback Marks will be awarded for comprehensiveness, clarity, understanding and engagement with the class. Description of Task Students are to form themselves into groups with 2 members each and hand in their names to the course coordinator in the week 2 tutorial class.
The course coordinator will assign each group ONE JOURNAL ARTICLE. Each group should analyse the article and present its analysis in class. The duration of the presentation is 20 minutes. Your presentation should focus on the following issues: 1. The aims and objectives of the article; 2. How the studies have been conducted (theoretical/methodological issues); 3. The key findings/results reported in the article; 4. The contribution of the article to an understanding of the public sector; 5. Your own appreciation of the article/critique. The journal article and the week when it is to be presented are shown in the “Learning resources summary”.
The presentations will commence from Week 4. Please ensure you present the article assigned and if not sure contact the course coordinator. Since rescheduling tutorial presentations is disruptive, extensions on presentations will not be awarded. Reading from your notes or the paper will earn you a FAIL grade. Assessment Task Due Date % SILOs Assessed Class and tutorial participation Staring from Week 4 till week 13. 10% A,c,d,e,f Submission Details During each class and tutorial, be prepared to ask or answer questions or make intelligent commentaries on relevant issues; Grading Criteria and Feedback.
Marks will be awarded for a question asked or answered or relevant comment made; Description of Task The student is expected to read each week’s assigned reading before coming to class. During classes or tutorials, the student is expected to raise and answer questions and make critical commentaries on presentations. Assessment Task Due Date % SILOs Assessed Final examination TBA 50% A,d,f Submission Details Turn up punctually on examination day at the set venue and read the instructions carefully. Grading Criteria and Feedback.
Marks will be awarded for demonstration of understanding of the material. Description of Task The final examination will be made up of essay type questions. DETAILED GRADING CRITERIA Assessment Task: Group Presentation Assessment Names/ID: _____________________________________________________ Date/Tutorial time: _____________________________________________________ Criteria Comment Introduction: clear, sensible outline of aims and outline of presentation (2 marks) Discussion: clarity of explanations (3 marks) Content: Exhaustive analysis and presentation of the articles (4 marks)
Presentation: clear, easy to follow, use of visual aides, confident, class involvement (2 marks) Demonstrates thorough understanding of the issues raised in the article (4 marks) Total = 15 marks Assessment Task: Group Written Assignment Sheet Student Name__________________________________________________ Student ID ___________________________________________________ Criteria of assessment Comment Coverage: Exhaustive analysis of the topic; Evidence of understanding of major themes (4 marks). Method: Relevant data collected for each question; Clear framework of data collection and analysis (3).
Discussion: Construction of careful, controlled and logical argument. Practical examples to illustrate discussion; Application of evidence to support argument; Critical approach adopted in writing the essay (6 marks). Research: Relevant literature used appropriately in writing the essay; Reasonable number of references used relevant to the topic; A critical analysis of this literature (5 marks). Writing competency: Careful, accurate acknowledgement of all sources and citations; Appropriately styled and punctuated bibliography; Well written, properly edited and easy to read; no errors (5 marks).
Structure and presentation: Clear structure with introduction, discussion and conclusion; Use of suitable headings and sub-headings; Appropriate paragraphing; includes cover page, appropriate line spacing, page numbering; clear, legible, and uses consistent format (2 marks). Overall Mark/25% Structure of the Written Assignment Cover Page: Title, ID and Name of Authors Signed statement of contributions Content page 1. 0Introduction Give background to your study and clearly specify the objectives of the essay/report. 2. 0Methods Explain type of data or evidence collected, how it was collected and analysed.
3. 0Discussion of accountability and it’s dimensions Here review some academic literature (e. g. Sinclair, 1995) on accountability to come up with some theoretical framework to use for data analysis (i. e. identify the dimensions of accountability for study 4. 0How XYX department/authority/agency discharges its accountability Here you may use suitable subheadings based on your theoretical framework from 3. 0 above 5. 0Evaluation of the adequacy of XYZ’s accountability Here you may use suitable subheadings 6. 0Discussion and conclusion Here discuss your findings and conclude the essay.
References Appendix Class and Tutorial Participation Sheet Names/ID: _____________________________________________________ Date Nature of contribution RESOURCES Academic Language and Learning Unit (ALLU) The Academic Language and Learning Unit (ALLU) works closely with teaching staff in the Faculties and on the Melbourne campus and the regional campuses to ensure that all La Trobe students – including those from non-English-speaking backgrounds – develop high-level academic speaking, writing, reading, and numeracy skills required for successful learning in their courses.
For further information, please see the website at: http://www. latrobe. edu. au/learning/ Learning Management System (LMS) The Learning Management System (LMS) is an Internet based system which allows you access to learning materials and to interact with other students and teaching staff in activities related to your studies from any location with Internet access. Most subjects have a LMS site into which you are automatically added as part of your enrolment into the subject. The LMS can be accessed at: https://www. latrobe. edu.
au/lms/login/ by using your Username and Password provided to you on your Statement of Account. If you are having trouble accessing the LMS or want to find out more about LMS, please see the website at: http://www. latrobe. edu. au/studentlmsinfo/moodle/index. html Library The Library has many valuable physical and online learning resources that can help you with your study. On campus students should get to know the physical Library environment by going on a Library Tour. All students should get familiar with the Library website where online resources include: LibGuides [http://latrobe.
libguides. com/index. php] – providing specific discipline and subject guides; LibSkills [http://latrobe. libguides. com/libskills] – to teach you library research and information literacy skills; LibChat [http://www. lib. latrobe. edu. au/] – a library discussion forum allowing you to chat with a Librarian; Academic Referencing Modules [http://latrobe. libguides. com/referencingmodules] – to assist you to understand specific referencing styles; Academic Referencing Tool [http://www. lib. latrobe. edu. au/referencingtool/non-flash/index.
php] – providing detailed referencing examples; and, Assignment Calculator [http://www. lib. latrobe. edu. au/calculator/index. php] – to assist you in time managing your assignments and submitting on time. Student Support Services If you have special needs due to disability or other factors the Equality and Diversity Centre can provide advice and support. This Centre can be contacted by telephone on (03) 9479 2900 (Melbourne); (03) 5444 7410 (Bendigo); (02) 6024 9628 (Albury-Wodonga); National Relay Service Deaf and Hearing Impaired: T: 133677 (within Australia only).
Email: [email protected] edu. au or refer to the website at: http://www. latrobe. edu. au/equality/. POLICIES, PROCEDURES AND GUIDELINES The University has a comprehensive policy framework to which both staff and students must adhere. You should familiarise yourself with those policies, procedures and guidelines likely to affect you especially the following: Academic Integrity. Academic Progress. Assessment and Feedback. Extension to Submission Dates. Late Submission of Assessment Tasks. Occupational, Health and Safety [OHS].
Privacy. Special Consideration. Student Charter. Use of Electronic Mail. The relevant policies, procedures and guidelines can be found on the website at: http://www. latrobe. edu. au/policy/ ACADEMIC INTEGRITY Academic integrity means being honest in academic work and taking responsibility for learning the conventions of scholarship. La Trobe University views this seriously as evidenced by the following extract: Academic honesty is a fundamental principle in teaching, learning, research and scholarship.
The University requires its academic staff and students to observe the highest ethical standards in all aspects of academic work and it demonstrates its commitment to these values by awarding due credit for honestly conducted scholarly work, and by penalising academic misconduct and all forms of cheating. Academic Integrity Procedures (2010, p. 1 of 6) Academic misconduct includes poor referencing, plagiarism, copying and cheating. You should familiarise yourself with your responsibilities in relation to Academic Integrity and if you have any questions, direct them to your Course Coordinator.
Information can be found on the website at: http://www. latrobe. edu. au/learning/integrity. html. Special Consideration Special Consideration is the term used to describe a process that applies an equity measure to ensure that where any temporary adverse circumstances beyond the control of a student, that impact negatively on that student’s ability to demonstrate their learning achievement for an assessment task, is taken into account. Eligibility to apply for Special Consideration does not automatically imply eligibility to receive it. Certain criteria must be satisfied in order to receive Special Consideration.
Please refer to the relevant policies, procedures and guidelines website at: http://www. latrobe. edu. au/policy/ Extensions, Late Submissions and Penalties There are policies and procedures to guarantee fair, consistent and transparent treatment of late submission of assessment tasks provide equity around extensions to submission dates and penalties associated with not submitting assessment by the due date and time. Please refer to the relevant policies, procedures and guidelines website at: http://www. latrobe. edu. au/policy/ ====================================End================================================