Enhancing NDPB accountability: improving relationships with upward and downward stakeholders
Public Management Review
Word count: 9,536 (excluding references) Gary Martin is a senior lecturer in accounting at the University of Glasgow. He specialises in the fields of corporate governance and corporate social responsibility and has published in the areas of public management, administration and governance. He holds a number of public sector non-executive positions and prior to working as an academic, held a number of accounting related positions. Ciaran Connolly is Professor of Accounting at Queen's University,
... Belfast. A fellow of the Chartered Accountants Ireland, he holds a DPhil from the University of Ulster and an MBA from Queen's University Belfast. His main area of research is in the field of public services, particularly the financial and performance measurement aspects of the charitable and public sectors. Abstract This paper examines the relationship between Northern Ireland Non-departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs) and two key stakeholders, sponsoring government departments and service users, and outlines how this relationship can impact upon a NDPB discharging its accountability responsibilities effectively. After discussing the concept of accountability, the paper presents the findings of a survey of, and interviews with, NDPB board members. Whilst the consensus was that NDPBs were effective in discharging accountability, there was frustration with an apparent absence of an arms' length relationship with certain sponsoring departments and limited engagement with service users.