Examining statements of service performance: Evidence from wastewater services in New Zealand
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The statement of service performance is a mandatory report provided by local governments in New Zealand. Despite 20 years' reporting experience, the Office of the Auditor-General (2008) criticised the poor quality of these reports. Past theoretical literature has attempted to develop a framework for the accountability expectations of documents provided by public-sector entities (Stewart, 1984). The purpose of this paper is to measure the consistency of the statements of service performance about wastewater services made by New Zealand local governments with the accountability expectations, using an accountability disclosure index. The paper reveals a moderately high level of consistency. "Probity" and "legality" accountability disclosures are high while "process/efficiency" and "performance programme-effectiveness" accountability are less emphasised. The results suggest that accountability expectations provide a useful tool for evaluating statements of service performance.
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