The effectiveness of value for money audit in the evaluation of government programmes

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The effectiveness of value for money audit in the evaluation of government programmes

 

Author: Poon, Raymond Chiu-kim
Title: The effectiveness of value for money audit in the evaluation of government programmes
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 1995
Subject: Finance, Public -- China -- Hong Kong -- Accounting
Municipal services -- China -- Hong Kong -- Evaluation
Public administration -- China -- Hong Kong -- Evaluation
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Multi-disciplinary Studies
Pages: vi, 118 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1202732
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/2687
Abstract: Value for money audit conducted by the Director of Audit is a formal tool of evaluation on government programmes. It helps improve public accountability by providing information on the performance of the government which the public may not have access to. 2. The Audit Department is an unit within the administration. The process of value for money audit in Hong Kong is similar to that of other countries, with the Director of Audit conducting audit investigations into government activities and the Public Accounts Committee following up on the audit reports by holding public hearings. 3. Statistics on the coverage of the audits, their results and the behaviour of the Public Accounts Committee on the handling of the audits have been drawn up. They reveal that the Director of Audit has covered a wide range of government activities in his value for money audit work. However, there is a tendency that the audits were largely on internal government functions. Also, audit subjects are usually on cases of waste and extravagance and reviews of standard managerial functions. Broad-based studies, which should focus on the policy level of government programmes, are very few. This is Hypothesis 1 of the research based on the fact that the Audit Department is not independent of the Administration and it has been proven true. 4. The Public Accounts Committee has used its public hearings very effectively, both in its scrutiny of the audit reports and also in satisfying the expectation of the public in its monitoring role on the performance of the Government. It provides the legitimacy to the audits and adds a political dimension to the process. This is Hypothesis 2 of the research. The behaviour of the Public Accounts Committee observed in the research has proven that it can fulfill its role in this respect. 5. There is a marked change of behaviour of the Public Accounts Committee since the 1991 direct election when directly elected Legislative Councillors were introduced to the Committee. It has become more diligent in including more audit subjects for investigation and has been more willing to call up additional witnesses in public hearings, to draw up additional recommendations and to issue supplementary reports on selected cases. Hypothesis 3 of the research suggested that the Public Accounts Committee should be more effective with directly elected Legislative Councillors and this has been proven true. 6. Hypothesis 4 of the research states that the process of value for money audit is an effective tool for the evaluation of government programmes within the ambit of the cases chosen for audit. This has been proven to be positive with the 105 cases analysed. This result suggests that the process should be able to be put into more effective use if the Audit Department could be given the freedom and resources to conduct more broad-based studies. Also, the resource constraint of the Public Accounts Committee could be resolved by co-opting into the membership of the Committee academics and professionals who are not Legislative Councillors.

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