This is in contrast to Kingdons assumption that PEs act for personal benefit

This is in contrast to kingdons assumption that pes

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This is in contrast to Kingdon’s assumption that PEs act for personal benefit but is consistent with a social constructionist approach in which individuals have a higher level of agency and are motivated by issues other than personal gain. Considering all available data, there is, however, some evidence for an alternative self- interest perspective in the motivation of the PEs. All PEs were directly involved with preparing budgets, including end-of-year financial documents in Treasury or Finance Departments, and were directly responsible for these reports. As a result, any criticism or issues about these documents could be interpreted as criticism of their professional performance. This would lead to a desire by the PEs as well as HoTs to avoid such situations. The desire to avoid situations in financial reporting that could reflect negatively on the PEs or politicians was reflected in the reasons that were officially provided for GAAP/GFS harmonisation. The audit of GFS statements (including budgets) would provide independent assurance by Auditors-General and mitigate criticism from the public that the accounting choices were politically motivated or otherwise flawed. The audit of such statements would provide additional independence and assurance for the Loan Council, which used these reports to negotiate the distribution of taxes across Australian jurisdictions. Comparisons between ex-ante budget and ex-post statements would address calls by politicians for help in discharging their accountability, which they saw as an issue that should be resolved by Treasury and Finance. Ensuring such comparability, including audit, would be beneficial to PEs, HoTs and politicians.
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280 A nother perspective on the PEs’ motivation was r aised by two interviewees. One interviewee referred to this motivation as HoTs wanting to discipline their political masters” (ACAG, Interview 10/11/2010) . This perspective could be viewed as either altruistic or self-interested. Through the objectives and arguments used for GAAP/FGS harmonisation, this potential motivation is feasible and consistent with previously mentioned motivations. Another potential motivation was raised by two interviewees. This was a desire to have an independent standard setter for public sector reporting, rather than Treasuries deciding on the accounting standards, with different outcomes across Australian jurisdictions. Having an independent standard setter would provide Treasuries with an opportunity to refer any potential issues and ambiguities to the standard setting body and remove pressure from political actors to alter reporting rules. There was no evidence that these issues were debated in association with potential benefits to PEs and HoTs. Instead, the issues were always framed in the interest and for the benefit of the government and Australian citizens.
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  • Fall '13
  • Government, The Land, International Financial Reporting Standards, Financial Accounting Standards Board, Australian Accounting Standards Board, Snow

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