The competitive theory of public sector management (also known as New Public Management) raises questions about the nature of accountability of governments to their stakeholders. The different level of adoption of NPM at local government level in different Australian states may result in d(fferences in accountabilities between states. For local government, geographic location (urban/rural/remote) may affect perceptions of accountability and help explain the nature of local governance across Australia. While public sector accountability is difficult to define, It is fundamental to our system of government. This empirical study uses a survey of local government managers to examine perceptions of accountability to mutiple stakeholders. It comments on what this tells us about the nature of local government in different states and how they have responded to different reform processes. Managers in local government have to contend wnh multiple accountabilRies to multiple stakeholders: ratepeyers, the wider community, councillors, and their state governments. The results suggest that managers can work suocessfully in a framework of multiple accountabilities. It is also clear that there are state-based and geographic differences affecting how managers work within such an accountability framework.
22 p. (p. 51-72.)
Accounting, Accountability and Performance, 5(2): 51-72