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Research you can count on

So impressive was a recent presentation by Curtin Business School’s (CBS) Professor David Gilchrist at the conference of the Australasian Council of Public Accounts Committees that he has been asked to undertake two research projects.

The presentation “Sovereignty of Parliament: Developing the Westminster System in a Political World” was given at the biennial conference attended by members of parliament and staff from across the country, Auditors General, senior academics from the Australian National University, University of Sydney, and Melbourne University. Additionally, members of parliament and staff attended from countries including the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Uganda, Indonesia and Singapore.

Professor Gilchrist said the topic was designed to meet the needs of members of public accounts committees hailing from developed and developing nations.

“The presentation looked at the resourcing and operations of an effective Public Accounts Committee in the context of pragmatic Westminster systems,” Professor Gilchrist said. “These are typically developed in countries where a semi-written constitution exists, and Australian jurisdictions are classic examples of this type of experience.”

“While this presentation and following discussions reinforced relationships we have developed with institutions such as the Offices of the Auditor General in Australia, Indonesia and other countries, there were also other immediate and tangible results – two research projects.

“The first research project that the presentation sparked will evaluate the first multi-jurisdictional public sector audit undertaken in Australia, and will be reported to all Auditors General and parliamentary committees.

“It could also be woven into a research program we are looking at undertaking in partnership with CPA Australia and Bath University, and is exciting as it builds on the research already undertaken in the School of Accounting in relation to public sector audit,” Professor Gilchrist said.

The second research project involves an evaluation of the International Accounting Standards Board’s Framework and will consider the impact if such a framework were to be adopted in Australia. This builds on recent reports made to the Heads of Treasury in Australia on this topic by Professor Gilchrist, along with CBS colleagues Associate Professor Robyn Pilcher and Dr Linda Zhai.

CBS Pro Vice-Chancellor Tony Travaglione said both projects are logical extensions of the CBS School of Accounting’s current research program.

“They will build further on what Professor Gilchrist and the Accounting team have done, and help cement the School’s position as a major researcher nationally and internationally in the fields of public sector performance, reporting, assurance, accountability and policy.”