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Value for Money and Audit Practice in the UK Public Sector

Value for Money and Audit Practice in the UK Public Sector This paper uses both role theory and audit expectations gap theory to critically evaluate the ability of Value for Money (VfM) audit procedures to improve performance in UK public sector organisations. Our paper reports on an empirical study of 17 auditors and 22 representatives of VfM client organisations. The results show that although the VfM audit plays a part in enhancing the institutional performance of the public sector, much of the audit's practices have not been institutionalised in the audited bodies as had previously been assumed. Questions were raised about the relevance of the auditors' experience and knowledge of the audited body's activities. Our results also indicate significant role conflicts in the VfM process. Three types of conflict could be identified: (a) conflict between the VfM auditors' roles and their own professional values and standards (person‐role conflict); (b) conflict between the VfM auditors' capabilities and their role requirements (role overload), and (c) conflict between the auditors and the auditees (inter‐sender conflict). http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Auditing Wiley

Value for Money and Audit Practice in the UK Public Sector

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
ISSN
1090-6738
eISSN
1099-1123
DOI
10.1111/ijau.12037
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper uses both role theory and audit expectations gap theory to critically evaluate the ability of Value for Money (VfM) audit procedures to improve performance in UK public sector organisations. Our paper reports on an empirical study of 17 auditors and 22 representatives of VfM client organisations. The results show that although the VfM audit plays a part in enhancing the institutional performance of the public sector, much of the audit's practices have not been institutionalised in the audited bodies as had previously been assumed. Questions were raised about the relevance of the auditors' experience and knowledge of the audited body's activities. Our results also indicate significant role conflicts in the VfM process. Three types of conflict could be identified: (a) conflict between the VfM auditors' roles and their own professional values and standards (person‐role conflict); (b) conflict between the VfM auditors' capabilities and their role requirements (role overload), and (c) conflict between the auditors and the auditees (inter‐sender conflict).

Journal

International Journal of AuditingWiley

Published: Nov 1, 2015

References