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Title: The accountability of audit in central government in Ireland : bridging any expectations gap
Author: McDermott, E.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5371 535X
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2014
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The Irish Constitution defines the key public accountability role of the Comptroller and Auditor General in the audit of central government, reported through the forum of the Committee of Public Accounts (PAC). The purpose of the research is to consider how central government audit and their oversight and reporting mechanisms, played out in a public forum, could address any perceived expectations gap and therefore contribute to improved governance and accountability. The PAC, through its conduct of meetings, review of C&AG reports and in its subsequent reporting, may inadvertently contribute to the widening of the audit expectations gap. A documentary review of PAC meeting transcripts of scrutiny and deliberations was carried out over a period of seven years. In the review, regard was given to the audit concepts and expectations gap definitions as summarised from the international research. The absence or deficiency in the application of those concepts identified areas where expectations gap issues arise and objectively framed the consideration of what could be done to reduce the accountability expectations gap pertaining to central government audit, including internal audit. The research identified a number of factors that lead to ongoing difficulties of the PAC and C&AG in the discharge of their accountability duties and had contributed to the expectations gap. The research uniquely showed some aspects of the PAC's public examination and deliberative processes requiring improvement, with clear audit expectations gap bridging benefits. This research showed a significant deference of the PAC to media reporting of matters of public accountability of common interest. The research showed a prolific and commendable output of the C&AG with limited resources and a consequential significant workload for the PAC. Accordingly, the PAC needs to refrain from deliberations on extraneous matters or matters that it cannot influence or outside its remit.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available