Value for money and the rule of law: the (new)performance audit in Sweden
2011 (English)In: International Journal of Public Sector Management, ISSN 0951-3558, Vol. 24, no 2, 107-121 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Purpose – This paper aims to develop a classification scheme of different types of value for money(VFM) audits with different degrees of compliance audit, and to classify the performance audits carriedout by the Swedish National Audit Office (SNAO) during its first six years as an independent stateaudit organization reporting to parliament.
Design/methodology/approach – The empirical data were gathered from all of the 150 auditreports published by the SNAO from its establishment in 2003 to the end of 2008. Seminars werearranged to discuss the classifications for validation.
Findings – The focus on traditional VFM audits (the “Three Es”) is unusual. Most audits carried outby the SNAO combine different types of extended VFM audits with compliance audit. On the onehand, they audit how the government and/or central agencies fulfil their mandates (from good to bad).On the other, they audit how the government and/or central agencies adhere to legislation, rules andpolicies (right or wrong). In some cases, the SNAO equates compliance audit with performance audit.
Practical implications – The authors have verbalised and visualised performance audit activities of interest not only to state auditors, but also to external stakeholders. One practical implication is thatthe Swedish national audit committee has conducted an evaluation of the SNAO that is partly based onthe national report of this study, and has proposed a stronger focus on the Three Es.
Originality/value – The study addresses a new approach in terms of a classification scheme forperformance audits, consisting of eight types.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2011. Vol. 24, no 2, 107-121 p.
Performance measures, Auditing, Value analysis, Sweden, Public sector organizations
Research subject Business Administration
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-83417DOI: 10.1108/09513551111109026OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-83417DiVA: diva2:575676