Advanced

Impact at any price? The National Audit Office (NAO) and the media

Bringselius, Louise LU (2010) The International Research Society for Public Management (IRSPM) 2010
Abstract
In National Audit Offices (NAOs), impact is often used as a measure of success, serving to build legitimacy. When aiming to maximize impact, the media tends to play an important role. Based on empirical observations from the Swedish NAO, this paper explores how the role of the media for a NAO can be understood, and how this may affect independence.



It is suggested that impact can be understood either as the media coverage of an audit (media impact), or the measures that an audit result in (measure impact). Two interpretations of the media are discussed: (i) Media as an information channel, and (ii) media as a means of bringing pressure to bear among audit objects and members of Parliament. In the Swedish NAO, the... (More)
In National Audit Offices (NAOs), impact is often used as a measure of success, serving to build legitimacy. When aiming to maximize impact, the media tends to play an important role. Based on empirical observations from the Swedish NAO, this paper explores how the role of the media for a NAO can be understood, and how this may affect independence.



It is suggested that impact can be understood either as the media coverage of an audit (media impact), or the measures that an audit result in (measure impact). Two interpretations of the media are discussed: (i) Media as an information channel, and (ii) media as a means of bringing pressure to bear among audit objects and members of Parliament. In the Swedish NAO, the Auditor-Generals strived to maximize media impact, in order to gain measure impact, partly because a response to audits was not compulsory. Auditors in the Swedish NAO requested that the media should be understood rather as an information channel, and that impact should not be seen as an important measure, in accordance with the Constitutional school.



Implications for independence are discussed. In the Swedish NAO, auditors witnessed about an excessive focus on problems and sensational conclusions, and on producing non-contestable results, following a strong media orientation. It is concluded that the price of media impact is independence, in the Swedish case. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to conference
publication status
published
subject
keywords
NAO, national audit, national audit office, supreme audit institution, SAI, Performance audit, value for money audit, Riksrevisionen, media, impact, public management
conference name
The International Research Society for Public Management (IRSPM) 2010
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
fd6f33f7-b0c8-44d4-8979-901575da0bf1 (old id 1567069)
date added to LUP
2010-03-22 10:29:26
date last changed
2016-07-12 11:22:40
@misc{fd6f33f7-b0c8-44d4-8979-901575da0bf1,
  abstract     = {In National Audit Offices (NAOs), impact is often used as a measure of success, serving to build legitimacy. When aiming to maximize impact, the media tends to play an important role. Based on empirical observations from the Swedish NAO, this paper explores how the role of the media for a NAO can be understood, and how this may affect independence.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
It is suggested that impact can be understood either as the media coverage of an audit (media impact), or the measures that an audit result in (measure impact). Two interpretations of the media are discussed: (i) Media as an information channel, and (ii) media as a means of bringing pressure to bear among audit objects and members of Parliament. In the Swedish NAO, the Auditor-Generals strived to maximize media impact, in order to gain measure impact, partly because a response to audits was not compulsory. Auditors in the Swedish NAO requested that the media should be understood rather as an information channel, and that impact should not be seen as an important measure, in accordance with the Constitutional school.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Implications for independence are discussed. In the Swedish NAO, auditors witnessed about an excessive focus on problems and sensational conclusions, and on producing non-contestable results, following a strong media orientation. It is concluded that the price of media impact is independence, in the Swedish case.},
  author       = {Bringselius, Louise},
  keyword      = {NAO,national audit,national audit office,supreme audit institution,SAI,Performance audit,value for money audit,Riksrevisionen,media,impact,public management},
  language     = {eng},
  title        = {Impact at any price? The National Audit Office (NAO) and the media},
  year         = {2010},
}