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Daphne Rixon


The purpose of this case study is to first examine the implications of accountability legislation on the financial and performance reporting of a public sector agency in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador and secondly, to compare the level of accountability with Stewart’s (1984) ladder of accountability. This paper is based on the first phase of a two-phase study. The first phase focuses on the initial impacts of accountability legislation on agencies and the challenges created by the legislation’s ‘one size fits all’ approach. The second phase of this study will examine the impact of the legislation on stakeholders after it has been in operation for five years. The second phase will include interviews with stakeholders to ascertain the level of satisfaction with the new legislation. The first phase of the study is significant since it highlights how governments could consider stakeholder needs when drafting such legislation. This research contributes to the body of literature on stakeholder accountability since there is a paucity of research focused specifically on the impact of accountability legislation on public sector agencies. An important contribution of this paper is the introduction of a framework for legislated accountability reporting. The main theoretical frameworks used to analyse the findings are Stewart’s (1984) ladder of accountability in conjunction with Friedman and Miles (2006) ladder of stakeholder management and engagement.

Keywords: Accountability Legislation, Financial Reporting, Performance Reporting

How to cite this paper: Rixon, D. (2012). Accountability legislation: Implications for financial and performance reporting. Journal of Governance and Regulation, 1(1), 25-35.