The Accounting Arrangements
While institutional reforms would certainly lead results-orientation, they would also give rise to a new structure of accountabilities. What is needed is an accounting system that would reflect these accountabilities and is based on the way performance is designed. Such an accounting system must meet certain requirements, such as the ability to assess performance in relation to output production, or to provide information to the legislature concerning the effectiveness and efficiency of resource utilization. The cash accounting system used by most governments, including OECD member states, does not meet these requirements. Thus, majority of OECD member countries have shifted to accrual accounting and budgeting. Although accrual accounting does not automatically ensure the implementation of comprehensive public management reforms, it enables countries to more easily realize a wider reform agenda. This chapter looks at accounting reforms in New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and India.
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