The role of accounting practices in achieving transparency in government and public services
Table of Contents
Transparency is part of good leadership. Many governments in the world are embracing the idea of encouraging transparency in governance to ensure that the citizens are aware of how the government is being run. The current project addressed the role of accounting processes in achieving transparency in the government and public services. The study involves an understanding of the cases of transparency and what makes the government and public services not to be transparent enough. Transparency is required in the government and the public services to ensure that the members of the public are served in the best way possible. The current research used qualitative research methods, specifically using the Transcendental Phenomenology. Interviews were conducted featuring individuals who had first-hand knowledge in accounting and governance. Accounting has an important role in ensuring transparency in governance. It is a Transparency is important in the public sector because it helps in safeguarding public property from criminal elements. Governments face many challenges in their quest for transparency. The information in accounting is saved in an orderly manner that makes it easier for other parties to access it.
Transparency is part of good leadership. Many governments in the world are embracing the idea of encouraging transparency in governance to ensure that the citizens are aware of how the government is being run. It is a Transparency is important in the public sector because it helps in safeguarding public property from criminal elements. It makes it easier for a company to set realistic targets that it can achieve over time (Biondi & Lapsley, 2014). Governments face many challenges in their quest for transparency. It is, therefore, important to conduct a study on what companies and organizations need to do to embrace transparency. According to Biondi & Lapsley (2014), it is unlikely to achieve the first level or minimal level of transparency for public organizations with heritage assets because of the deep-seated problems of asset recognition and valuation. Ellwood & Greenwood (2016) reveals that accounting is important in asset recognition and valuation; hence it will help in recording the real value of assets. One of the impediments to transparency is the failure to record the correct value of the assets. The fact that transparency helps in keeping records about the real value of the products will help in achieving transparency in a company.
Transparency in the government and public services is important because it improves service delivery. Park & Blenkinsopp (2011) notes that transparency in the government coffers helps in reducing corruption and making sure that the available resources are effectively utilized for the benefit of the citizens in a given country. Grace N (2014) defines accounting as a business process that involves keeping records of finances and the other assets and liabilities that a company or an organization has to ensure proper management. Organizations use accounting for two basic purposes, which include reporting the financial performance to the stakeholders and for the process of decision making at the management level. Accounting transparency is one of the ways in which the public can ensure that there is transparency in how they are managing their finances, assets, and liabilities. It is, therefore, important to use accounting as a tool that will ensure that there are transparency and accountability in the public coffers. It is, therefore, an important topic that should be studied for the benefit of society.
The current project addressed the role of accounting processes in achieving transparency in the government and public services. The study involves an understanding of the cases of transparency and what makes the government and public services not to be transparent enough. The study also involves finding out the importance of transparency and why it is required in government institutions. The project also accesses literature and finding out how transparency is important and how various organizations have used accounting as a means to achieve transparency in the workplace. The research will also assess the challenges that the government faces and how transparency will be used to solve such challenges. It will also address the real meaning of transparency and what it can do to improve the service delivery in the government and the public services. It is also important to assess the necessity of transparency in society and the effects that it has on the lives of the people in the society. According to Park & Blenkinsopp (2011), some people have not taken time to appreciate the importance of accountability in the society, and they tend to take it as a mere statutory requirement as opposed to being an instrument that should be helpful in the society and promote the services that are provided by the governments.
The research topic in the current research is “The role of accounting practices in achieving transparency in government and public services.” The topic is important in understanding the role that accounting plays in ensuring transparency in various companies. The topic will also help to understand the importance of accounting in various establishments. The topic basically gives reasons why accounting should be taken as an important aspect in the management of public services. Aeman et al. (2015) note that the private sector has the role of creating jobs for the people in the community, which not only enables the people to have a source of livelihood but also improves the economy of the country because of the taxes that they pay. Civil society, on the other hand, plays an important role in building the economic, political as well as the social interactions that will obey the laws and regulations. It, therefore, creates a conducive environment for the development of various activities that will promote a given country. The promotion of transparency in the government will encourage the people in society to do their best to succeed because they will understand that their efforts in the economy have been significantly appreciated.
The current research is aimed at answering a series of questions that are important in society. The current research will answer the questions and find out how they can be applied in society. The questions that will be answered in the current research include:
There are several reasons why I chose the current topic in current research. One of the reasons is that many government institutions are facing challenges as a result of a lack of transparency. Transparency is required in the government and the public services to ensure that the members of the public are served in the best way possible. Most people cannot access government services because of a lack of capacity. Da Cruz et al. (2015) appreciate the importance of government transparency in the promotion of accountability and in the prevention of maladministration that could affect the development of the country. It is important to note that accounting has an important role in the achievement of transparency in government. Park & Blenkinsopp (2011) notes that many people in society have not taken time to appreciate the importance of accounting in ensuring that there is transparency in the government and public offices. It is important to note that the concept of accounting can help in the improvement of the services that are provided by the government. It is, therefore, important to assess the role that accounting has in making sure that the people in a given jurisdiction are well served. Transparency in government as far as accounting is concerned will involve the distribution of common financial reports such as income statements, balance sheets, statements of retained earnings as well as statements of cash flow. Transparency will facilitate accuracy in the process of record-keeping beyond basic honesty. It will be impossible for the employees in the government to misappropriate funds when they are supposed to show the records to the public in one way or the other. Governments have embraced accounting in their service delivery to ensure that they can keep track of their finances and activities. It is, therefore, important to assess how accounting may be used in ensuring that there is transparency in the government and the public systems as a way of ensuring success in the service delivery and the work is done.
According to Drury (2007), accounting is the process of recording financial transactions pertaining to a business. It includes the process of summarizing, analyzing and reporting the transactions to the regulators, oversight agencies, tax collection as well as the public as a whole. Meijer (2013) defines transparency as the principle of allowing the people who are affected by the administrative decisions to understand the processes that led to the development of the decisions that are affecting them. There is a strong link between accounting and transparency, and the relationship between the two can be used in improving governance in a given jurisdiction. When the financial transactions have been summarized, analyzed, and reported then shared with the citizens in the given jurisdiction, the people will have the necessary information that will give them the ability to correct the government when necessary. Transparency in the government and public services is important because it improves service delivery. The current literature review provides information that has published in various books and articles that will help in a better understanding of the topic. According to Aeman et al., 2015, a transparent government is a government that has the ability to embody trust. It is, therefore, a rule of balance that has a strong communication system between the government and the citizens that are being ruled in a particular country. Aeman et al. (2015) argue that the government should provide information and accept the aspirations of the community. He adds that for the sake of the government and the people that it rules, the former should guarantee access or freedom to anyone. The purpose of developing the administration of a given country is to realize orderly living and to create a good atmosphere that will support the people in the society.
Corruption is one of the factors that are affecting the efforts of the government and the public systems as they try their best to implement transparency. The government and public services are facing some challenges when it comes to the implementation of transparency because they have corrupt employees. Goel & Nelson (2010) notes that corruption in government agencies affects transparency and may, at times, lead to the misuse of public resources leading to poor service delivery in government institutions. It is, therefore, important to deal with the cases of corruption as a way of making sure that transparency is encouraged in the government. Aeman et al. (2015) give important information on the factors that inhibit transparency in the implementation of local governance. The paper was a case study that was conducted in Indonesia with the aim of finding out how the government, in a particular jurisdiction, can be improved for the benefit of society. The authors note that the unwillingness of the government to share information with the people in the society is the reason why it is a challenge to achieve transparency in various countries. The author recommends that the government should be ready to be criticized and should receive suggestions and responses from the citizens. He notes that the government that cannot be judged by the people is not transparent hence cannot provide the satisfying leadership that is required by the people in the given jurisdiction. Aeman et al. (2015) argue that the local governments have to provide opportunities and should be open-minded towards the members of the public.
Andersson & Heywood (2009) notes that the cases of corruption in the government and the public systems have made the governments in the world to focus on transparency in the services that they are providing to the people in the society. According to the author, the annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) that was published by the Transparency International (TI) has an important role in making the governments focus on corruption and how it can be stopped for the benefit of the society. According to the author, the CPI remains to be one of the highly influential in the research on the causes of corruption despite the criticisms presented. The CPI is important in the fight against corruption and to ensure that the public resources are used in the best way possible. The CPI gives scores and ranks countries and territories on how a given government is perceived to be corrupt by the experts and the business executives.
Accounting is important because it helps in ensuring transparency, which will play an important role in the reduction of the Corruption Index of a given Country. Halter et al. (2009) note that skepticism may indicate a lack of understanding about the ability of ethical leadership to guide the employees in the workplace and set standards for the organizational culture and climate that will clearly define the limit of good behavior and creating appropriate codes of ethics. They note that transparency has not yet been discovered as a significant tool that could be used in the encouragement of professionalism in performance and reporting data in companies. According to Halter et al. (2009), transparency can be a tool that will be used in the reduction of cases of corruption hence increasing ethical behaviour and improving the image of the company. The author also appreciates the fact that good ethical behaviour can be used in building the image of a company.
According to Casalino et al., (2013), developing an Open Government Model has made it possible for an organizational revolution to occur for the public administration and allowing the citizens to have access to information and public services. It is one of the tools that has been deployed by the government to ensure that the factors that limit transparency are dealt with accordingly for the benefit of society as a whole. It can also lead to an increase in transparency in public agencies and ensures that citizen participation has been enhanced. Casalino et al., (2013) reveals that transparency and open data are powerful tools that will stimulate and support the improvement in the provision of public services and may lead to empowering the people in the society and empower the rights of the citizens. Many government agencies are, therefore, coming up with various ways of improving openness and public participation to ensure that the citizens enjoy the services that are provided.
ICT is an important tool that can ensure transparency in the workplace. However, it may not be useful if the measures are not taken to make sure that it is important in the lives of the people in the society. According to Vaccaro & Madsen (2009), information communication technology (ICT) provides an opportunity for transparency practices in non-government organizations. The author notes that there are various ethical challenges in the society that blocks transparency that would improve service delivery. The challenges in achieving transparency in institutions lead to an increase in research to ensure that the situation is dealt with accordingly for the benefit of the people in the society. Accounting has been fronted as one of the important ways of ensuring that there is transparency in the in the government and the public services. It is therefore important to understand the role of accounting in promoting transparency that will lead to better service delivery in the society.
Transparency is important in ensuring that the people in a given jurisdiction have access to better services. According to Park & Blenkinsopp (2011) transparency in reducing the cases of corruption in various organizations. The reduction of corruption and improving citizen satisfaction are the important aims of the government. However, the two policy aims have rarely been explored. Park & Blenkinsopp (2011) studied the roles played by transparency and trust in the relationship between corruption in the government and the satisfaction of the members of the public with the public services. According to the authors, transparency moderated the relationship between corruption and the satisfaction of the members of the public with regards to the services that are being provided in the process. The authors also noted that transparency was key to the development of trust among the members of the public. Transparency can therefore be used in the development of the policies that will limit corruption and develop trust among the citizens in a given country. It will therefore provide an insight in the fight against corruption.
According to Armstrong (2011), the internet has led to transparency in various institutions because it has made people to access pertinent information that will enable them in understanding the operation of the organizations. Casalino & Bednar (2015) reveal that innovation in the public sector have led to the improvement in the effectiveness and efficiency of the delivery of public services, improvement in transparency and user friendliness. The author reveals that the improvement in transparency has led to the increase in user friendliness. Casalino & Bednar (2015) notes that innovation has an important role in addressing several societal challenges that include aging population, inclusion, health care, education, public safety, environment and greenhouse gas emissions reduction. The public sector is made up various stakeholders and the fact that there is a big chain of command, the decision making process tends to be slower compared to the private organizations. It is therefore important for all the stakeholders in the public sector to access the important information. Financial information is very sensitive because it reveals how the funds of a given organizations are being used by the stakeholders. Accounting makes it easier for the organizations to be more transparent because all that they have to do is to share the financial information that has been shared by the accounting department in the government and public institutions.
Ferry et al., (2015) give the effect that excessive transparency can have on the performance of the organization. They reveal that excess accountability and transparency demands could have a counterproductive effect on the performance of the organization, longstanding hierarchical accountability structures in making sure that the government continues to endure the challenges that it faces. It is therefore important to check on the level of accountability that are made possible in the organization. According to Jaeger & Bertot (2010) the Obama administration in the United States of America campaigned on the platform of increasing accountability and access to government information, which was an improvement from the previous administration that had prevented the people in the society from accessing the information. According to Jaeger & Bertot (2010), the Obama administration opened up e-government platform and the social media platforms that have made it possible for the citizens to access information about the government. According to the author, some of the factors that came up include helping the people who do not have access to the computer devices and internet to access information about the government.
Aeman et al., (2015) notes that the purpose of the government is to make sure that good conditions are created that will improve the lives of the people in the society. The authors argue that the government will have to put in place a system of organized governance if they have to achieve the role that has been stated above. They also add that the practice of implementing a transparent government is not an easy thing to do and the government will have to put in place deliberate measures that will enable them to succeed in their quest of becoming transparent. Aeman et al., (2015) notes that the government will have the ability of ensuring transparency in their governance if they put in place the facilities and the human resources to do it. The authors also note that the attitude of the executor and the communication process are the factors that will facilitate the success or failure of a given policy.
Jaeger & Bertot (2010) notes that the government of the United States of America has used the internet as a way of helping the people in the society access information about the government which has facilitated transparency. Chow et al., (2007) notes that the process of accounting is used providing better information that will be used in decision making. The accounting process therefore has to be very accurate because of the importance it has in the society. According to Chow et al., (2007), better decision making will improve the economic performance and will benefit the taxpayers. The author also notes that that accounting is a better way of achieving transparency in the government institutions hence it is supposed to be embraced by various stakeholders in the society. Grace N (2014) addresses the importance of accrual accounting in ensuring transparency and accountability. According to the author, accrual accounting is a basis of accounting where the revenue is recorded when earned and the expenses are recorded when the benefits are consumed. Porumbescu (2015) notes that the local governments view transparency as an opportunity to reconnect with the citizenry hence making the process of administration to be much easier. According to the author, allowing the people to access information on the government leads to a more responsive and trustworthy government. If the local government gains the trust of the people then they will be able to get the support of the citizenry. The support of the people will also make it possible for the citizens to provide suggestions on how best the government can rule the people in the society (Cordery, 2013).
Picazo-Vela et al. (2012) talks about the importance of the social media such as blogs, microblogs or electronic social networks in transforming the way people interact in the society and the way various people relate among themselves and with various organizations. According to the author, the social media is instrumental in transparency. One notable thing in the world with the advent of the social media is that it has made it possible for the people in the society to share their views on how they think various tasks are supposed to be performed. According to Picazo-Vela et al. (2012) the government uses the social media to interact with its constituents, to share information with them and ensure that they share information that the people in the society are entitled to in the society. According to Dos Santos Brito et al., (2014), government concerns about transparency date from 1957, but the improvement of technology today is playing an important role when it comes to advancing the real time communication in the world. According to the author, it has led to the transformation of transparency, accountability, citizen participation and collaboration in addition to offering better public services through the increase in efficiency, effectiveness as well as decreasing cases of corruption in the government.
Heald (2012) notes that fiscal transparency is fundamentally important but difficult to achieve. The author suggests some sophistication in the conceptualization of transparency as opposed to the implication that has been provided by the current rhetoric. Heald (2012) notes that the general concept of transparency can be applied in public expenditure. Accounting will help in keeping records on the money that different departments in the government received and how it was spent. Broadbent & Guthrie (2008) notes that public sector accounting is important in improving the services that the government provides to the people within its jurisdiction. According to Heald (2012), “aachieving transparency about public expenditure presents challenges that require explicit strategies in the context of what can be very different sets of local conditions.” The author gives explanation on the meaning of transparency with regards to public expenditure which is in terms of four directions that include inwards, outwards, upwards and downwards. It identifies the barriers to effective transparency of the public expenditure which are characterized as either intrinsic or constructed. According to Heald (2012) the barriers presented can be tackled by coming up with various policies. One of the important thing is to find out the areas that need policy concerns and dealing with them accordingly. Accounting processes will help in achieving transparency in the government and public services. The transparency then allows the people in the society to access important information about the government. Accessing such information enables the people in the society to give their ideas and criticism that will help the government to identify the errors and deal with them accordingly for the benefit of the society.
In conclusion, transparency in the government that has been made possible by accounting will enable the citizens to correct the government in matters to do with expenditure. The fact that the information is in the public domain will discourage the leaders from spending the government resources in the wrong way. It may also help in the prevention of the cases of corruption in the government coffers hence lead to proper utilization of the government resources.
The current research used qualitative research methods specifically using the Transcendal Phenomenology as in Aeman et al. (2015). The fact that the phenomenological approach helps in dealing with the dual reality made it to be an appropriate approach for the current research. First of all phenomenological approach was essential in because it presented a direct relationship between the researchers and the informants that took part in the research. Secondly, phenomenological approach was important because it was more accurate in the description of phenomena as well as the patterns of face value. Thirdly, it was important because in addition to providing the description of phenomena, it is also a process of interpretation where the researchers could interpret the experiences of the subjects that are taking part in the study. The use of phenomenological approach would help in understanding how accounting practices in the government could help in understanding the role that accounting plays in achieving transparency in the workplace. Basically, phenomenology is an approach to qualitative research that focuses on the commonality of a lived experience within a particular group. The goal of the approach is to get the most accurate data that will be used in answering the research questions.
Interviews were conducted featuring individuals who had first-hand knowledge in accounting and governance. The interview was designed to answer two broad questions as described by (Moustakas, 1994). The study featured 9 subjects who are working in various government agencies and are aware of the functions that are taking place in the government. The data was collected through questionnaires, formal responses as well as interviews. I was the human research instrument in the research and I sought to describe the experiences they have faced in their workplace with regards to accounting promoting transparency in the workplace. They were to answer two broad questions which were then used to collect data in the current research. Some of the questions were addressing the experience that the subject has faced in his or her duty as he or she did his or her best to ensure that there is transparency in the workplace. The subjects were also supposed to answer questions about the contexts or situations that have influenced their experiences in the workplace as shown by (Creswell, 2013). The data was then read and reread and culled for like phrases and themes that were then grouped to form clusters of meanings (Creswell, 2013). The process then helped in the construction of the universal meaning of the relationship between accounting practices and transparency. Phenomenology has its roots in philosophy, psychology and education and it attempts to extract the purest, untainted data and in some interpretations of the approach, bracketing was used by the researchers to document the personal experiences with the subject to help in removing him from the process.
In the current research about the role of accounting practices in achieving transparency, the phenomenological approach and methods were used to glean answers. The approach was important in the current research because it aligned with the objectives of the study. While some of the questions were not adequately answered, they provided an opportunity to do further inquiry that would provide the much required answers for the current study. The phenomenological approach makes it possible to learn from the experiences of the other people in the society.
Transcendental phenomenological study is aimed at describing the experiences of the participants with regards to how accounting has led to transparency in the workplace. According to Moustakas (1994), phenomenology uses the personal interest of the researcher to come up with the questions that were used in the collection of relevant data. The research started by looking for the contacts of the people who were working in the government offices at the time the research was being carried out and were willing to take part in the research. It was impressive how many subjects believed that accounting was important in establishing transparency in the government institutions. I wondered if all the people that are working in the government and the public services also believed that accounting was important in developing transparency in the institutions.
Assessing literature, there are very few studies that link accounting with transparency in the government and public services meaning that the current research will be a great contribution to literature. The foundation of the study came from the research question: “What is the role of accounting practices in achieving transparency in government and public services.” The remaining part of this section describes the phenomenon with the use of the participant’s voice and helps in understanding the experience. According to Moustakas (1994), it is important to examine the experience from different many angles perspectives in order to better understand the phenomenon that is being investigated in the research. Based on the recommendation, I used a Self-Description questionnaire, interviews and formal responses to come up with well-rounded descriptions that are important in the research.
The research was built around five research questions that that were supposed to describe the role of accounting processes in achieving transparency in the government and public services. The research questions that were answered in the current research include:
A total of 9 participants were included in the research. Each of the participants was (a) a government or public service employee, (b) aware of the accounting process in the government, (3) were willing to take part in the research. All the participants voluntarily agreed that they were well versed with the accounting process and the benefits that it has on the organization. I set strict guidelines for participation to ensure that the phenomenon under investigation would be studied. Only the participants that are working in the government and the public service took part in the research because the paper was aimed at assessing the role of accounting in ensuring transparency in government and the public services. Accounting processes have been seen to improve transparency in different establishments hence there is a possibility that it may be useful in the government and the public service. Furthermore, accounting has been used to ensure that people from different departments account for the way they are using the funds that have been appropriated to them.
In the recruitment process for the study, I emailed 9 employees who were working at the local government when the research was being carried out. Fortunately, all of them agreed to take part in the research and that is why they were included in the research. The email contained a brief description of the study as well as a link that sought their informed consent (Appendix A). The participants who accepted to take part in the research visited the link and confirmed that they were willing to take part in the research. After accepting to take part in the research, the participants were then emailed the self-description questionnaire and formal responses. I also called them via Zoom to interview them. After receiving the digital responses from the participants, I then interviewed them. Each participant was given a pseudonym that was only useful in the study as a way of concealing their identity.
There were a total of 9 participants that took part in the research. The following is a short description of the participants that took part in the research.
Edwin was an American male aged 18-21. He worked for the ministry of finance at the time of the research. He is a Certified Public Accountant.
Sheila was a young British female aged 27-30 working for the ministry of water. She has a degree in mechanical engineering.
James was a young British male aged 26-28 with a degree in commerce. She is also a certified public accountant working with the ministry of finance.
Hart was a young British male aged 21-24 with a degree in civil engineering. He worked with the ministry of water at the time when the research was carried out.
Johnson was an American male with a degree in commerce and is also a certified public accountant. He was working for the ministry of education at the time when the research was being conducted.
Adam was a Caucasian male aged 22-24. He was a part time student at a local university and was working for the ministry of environment.
Eve was a young British female working as a teacher in a local school. She had a degree in education.
Christina listed her ethnicity as other and did not reveal her age. She was a certified public accountant working with the ministry of finance.
Anna was an African woman aged 22-25. She was a certified public accountant working with the ministry of finance.
The participants were supposed to complete the self-description questionnaire that assessed their view on the role that accounting plays in transparency in the government and the public services. The self-description questionnaire is an 8 point Linkert scale that ranges from Definitely False to Definitely False.
|I am aware of all the activities that take place in my place of work.||I am observant and keen to understand how various tasks are carried out||I am well versed with the accounts department||I can comfortably answer the questions about financial sector in my department|
|Edwin||Mostly true||Mostly true||Mostly true||Mostly true|
|James||Mostly true||Mostly true||Mostly true||Mostly true|
|Adam||Mostly true||Mostly true||Mostly true||Mostly true|
|Eve||Mostly true||Mostly true||Mostly true||Mostly true|
|Christina||Mostly true||Mostly true||Mostly true||Mostly true|
|Anna||Mostly true||Mostly true||Mostly true||Mostly true|
Figure 1: A table showing the results of the self-description questionnaire
Each of the eight ratings was given a numerical value with the aim of getting a more comprehensive view of the participants. All the numerical scores were added and their mean sought to give the overall description of each question that was represented. The table below contains the questionnaires that are aimed at answering the research questions that have been represented in the current research. The table below represents a conversion of figure one to numerical figures.
|More false than true||5|
|More true than false||4|
Figure 2: A table showing the SDQ numerical scale
|I am aware of all the activities that take place in my place of work.||I am observant and keen to understand how various tasks are carried out||I am well versed with the accounts department||I can comfortably answer the questions about financial sector in my department|
The rating for the self-description questionnaire was supposed to be as low as possible for the participants to qualify for the research. All the participants in the current research met the required criteria hence they were cleared to take part in the research.
The participants were required to email the responses to the formal response questions. The formal response questions were used to collect the data from the client’s perspective. All the participants were given the same 8 questions that was used to describe the phenomena of why they thought accounting has a role in achieving transparency in the government and the public services. Demographic data was collected using the formal response questions. The participants also answered the interview questions to help in the description of the phenomena. Each participant was asked 11 questions as shown in the appendix. The duration of the interview was 11 to 26 minutes. The Moustakas (1994) phenomenological reduction was used in the analysis of the interviews. The method helped in the emergent of the themes that were then used in the description of the phenomenon. The structural and the textural descriptions about the data helped in dealing with the individual and group struggles in the phenomenon.
The following themes came from the research and they were important in answering the research questions.
The themes that come up that are related to the first research question were: corruption, impunity, lack of political will and inadequate facilities.
Corruption and impunity. All the participants that took part in the research agreed that they have experienced corruption and impunity in the workplace that is an impediment to transparency in the service delivery. The results in the self-description questionnaire solidified the answer because all the participants agreed that they were well versed with the functions in the departments where they are working and that they were better placed to answer the questions about it.
Lack of political will. All the participants that took part in the research noted that they have sensed lack of political will in some departments when it comes to transparency meaning that many employees are trying their best to ensure transparency in their functions but some people are making it difficult for them.
Inadequate facilities. Most of the respondents that took part in the research agreed that they have faced shortages in facilities that have affected their ability to facilitate transparency in the workplace. One common position was that accounting is useful in ensuring transparency but there needs to be enough resources to facilitate it.
The themes that came up in the research include: ensuring effective governance, makes sure that the government’s resources are properly utilized for the benefit of the organization, protects the government from undergoing unnecessary wastage and allows the citizens to give their views on how the government is being run hence make the government more effective.
The themes that came up in the research include: having the political will to improve transparency, getting rid of corrupt individuals and making sure that the people that are working in the government abide by the laws of the land.
The themes that came up in the research include: ensuring equal distribution of the resources in the society, preventing unnecessary losses in government and ensuring that the government better serves the people in the society.
The fifth research question was foundation of the research and it included all the findings that had been compiled in the other research questions. Themes that came up in this section include: transparency leads to the prevention of corruption and impunity hence increase transparency in the government. The subjects that took part in the current research also noted that accounting allows the government to keep track of the finances received and the finances spent. The information on the income and expenditure can therefore be shared by other parties in the government and the public which is important for the success of the government in the activities that they are carrying out in a given jurisdiction.
The principle of transparency is good governance that is universal and has been applied in most countries in the world. It is therefore important to note that there can never be good governance without transparency. In order to achieve transparency, the government has invested in accounting to make sure that the value of all the assets and liabilities has been defined and recorded accordingly. All the subjects that took part in the current research admitted to facing some incidences of corruption in the workplace meaning that the vice is endemic in the government’s coffers and it is supposed to be dealt with accordingly for the benefit of the society. All the matters that are related to transparency in the in the implementation of various activities that have been carried out by the government have clearly been exposed in the government regulations. The government has put in place various measures that are aimed at making sure that the public has access to information that is important to them. The members of the public can apply for the information and they can receive it. However, some sensitive information are not exposed by the government because of various security concerns.
In the current research, it is clear that there are some challenges that the employees in the government departments face as they try to implement transparency in the workplaces. Some of the challenges that were identified according to the information provided by the subjects include corruption, impunity among some of the people in the higher offices, the excessive authority that has been given to some of the employees that are working, government’s leaders blocking any attempt of the employers in the government to share information and the fact that many governments have not invested in the facilities that will promote transparency in governance. According to Hood & Heald (2006), transparency is the key to better governance and it is supposed to be encouraged in the society. Transparency in the government and the public services will enable the people to monitor the performance of the government which will enable them appreciate what the government is doing or raising concerns when they spot problems in the process of governance. It is therefore important to deal with the impediments to transparency by putting in place the necessary measures that will not only help the government but also to improve the services that are provided by the people in the society. Etzioni (2010) notes that transparency is overvalued and it has been seen as the best option that will ensure that the people in the society to get the best services that they deserve from the government.
Zidar & Klemencic (2004) notes that the civilian oversight is important in governance because it helps in dealing with the challenges that the people face in the society and helps in making sure that the leadership is people-cantered. However, the authors raise concerns on the freedom of the public to oversight the government. They note that it is important for the oversight to be checked so that it does not become an impediment in the running of the government services. The government that is in authority may deal with the cases of impunity by making sure that all the leaders are responsible for their action. The leaders in the government who break the law should be prosecuted so that they pay for their mistakes. It is important to note that accounting together with public oversight will be an important step towards ensuring belter governance that will be beneficial to the people in the society. According to Jorgensen (2009) constitutional constraints on state behaviour is an important tool that can be used in extending, promoting as well as protecting the political and civil liberties. However, the author notes that the advocated respect on human rights may not be implemented in practice because of several factors. According to the author, one of the things that leads to the lack of restraint is impunity or the failure of the government to ensure that their agencies are governed by the same laws that they have put in place. Unpunished violations of human rights by state agents are widespread and are found across a range of regime types and development levels. It is almost impossible to achieve transparency with the use of accounting when impunity is rampant in the government. As a result of impunity in the government coffers, many people who are at fault tend to go unpunished. Most of the time, corruption and impunity go together and they are some of the greatest impediments in the lives of the people in the society.
According to the data collected in the current research, it is clear that transparency is important in good governance because of the fact that it shows that the government cares about its citizens. Most of the subjects noted that they are aware that the government is doing its best to promote transparency in governance. All the subjects that took part in the research agreed that accounting was playing an important role in ensuring transparency in the government. According to Grace N (2014) accrual accounting is important in ensuring transparency in government’s income and expenditure. According to the author, accrual accounting is the basis of accounting where revenue is recorded when earned and the expenditures are recorded when the benefits are consumed. Accounting helps in the establishment of financial transparency in government. According to Guillamón et al., (2011) agrees that the exposure of financial information to the public is an important way of ensuring transparency in governance. Government finance is a sensitive issue in the society considering that there are many cases where the government officials have been implicated in the theft of public resources.
According to the research, the government has several roles when it comes to making sure that accounting brings transparency. The subjects that took part in the current research noted that the government should have apolitical will that promote accounting and accountability in the government and the public services as a way of promoting performance. The subjects also noted that the government has the role of getting rid of corrupt individuals and replace them with the others who are willing to work and deliver for the country or territory. Corruption has been blamed for the losses and underperformance in many governments. The subjects also noted that the government has the role of eliminating impunity in the government by making sure that the civil servants abide by the rules that the government has put in place. In the current research, it emerged that impunity and corruption are the evils that impede transparency in the government. It therefore means there will not be proper accountability if impunity is still rampant in the government.
Transparency in the government has several advantages according to the current research. One of the advantages that was presented in the current research is the fact that it ensures equal distribution of resources in the society. The subjects in the current research also noted that transparency in government prevents unnecessary losses in the government hence making it possible for the people in a given jurisdiction to enjoy the benefits that the government has planned for them. It is therefore important to ensure that transparency is guaranteed in the government because of the benefits that it has in the society.
It is clear from the results accounting practices have a big role in achieving transparency in government and in the public services. The findings that were recorded from the research is that: transparency leads to the prevention of corruption and impunity hence increase transparency in the government. The subjects that took part in the current research also noted that accounting allows the government to keep track of the finances received and the finances spent. The information on the income and expenditure can therefore be shared by other parties in the government and the public which is important for the success of the government in the activities that they are carrying out in a given jurisdiction.
Accounting has an important role in ensuring transparency in governance. It is a Transparency is important in the public sector because it helps in safeguarding public property from criminal elements. Governments face many challenges in their quest for transparency. The information in accounting is saved in an orderly manner that makes it easier for other parties to access it. It also makes it easier for the employees in the government departments to account for how they have used the money that has been appropriated to them. The government and the public services face several challenges in their attempt to ensure that there is transparency in the workplace. The above analysis notes that there are several factors that inhibit transparency in the government. First of all, the policies that have been formulated by the government outlining how transparency should be implemented are not clear hence they are supposed to be amended and clearly defined. Secondly, there are some cases of impunity in government that are an impediment in attempt of the government to be transparent in the services that are offered to the citizens. Third, the authority of the government makes them fail to be accountable to the citizens of a given country. The other issue is that resources that would help in the implementation of transparency in the workplace are not adequate. A good number of government officials have the desire to be transparent but they lack the resources that would facilitate them hence they end up failing. It is therefore important for the government to deal with the impediments as a way of ensuring transparency in governance.
The current research gives important information on the benefit of transparency in the workplace. One of the benefits is the fact that transparency establishes relationships. The fact that the people in the society can access important information on expenditure and governance makes them to love some of the employees or most of the employees on the basis of the work that they do in their respective departments. The transparency also leads to a good relationship between a country and its lenders because the latter will always keep track on how their money is spent in the country. The results in the current research also outlined the fact that transparency improves the performance of the employees that are working in various departments in the organization. It was also established that transparency in the government improves innovation that would lead to better performance in the workplaces.
From the current research, it was clear that accounting processes are instrumental in achieving transparency as far as the money matters are concerned. It was also established that accounting led to accountability that in turn led to the elimination of the cases of corruption in the accounting departments as well as the other departments in the government because all the records would be recorded in a very straight forward way for various stakeholders to access. It is important to note that people will be reluctant to participate in criminal activities when they are aware that they are being watched. Accounting therefore makes it easier for the regulators to access the financial information of various departments. The employees in such departments are likely to use the funds appropriates to them in the best way possible to avoid any form of punishment or penalties. Various governments have put in place various measures on how the people who take part in financial irregularities will be punished and that makes the people working in various departments in the government to exercise restraint and make sure that their records are up to date.
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