Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Before there was Enron, there was Orange County

That's the title of this article in Public Budgeting & Finance (couldn't find an ungated copy), by David Matkin. I share it primarily because the title is so good:
Recent financial scandals in some of America's largest corporations have prompted popular speculation that a similar crisis may occur within the public sector and, therefore, that government and nonprofit organizations should be required to adopt financial oversight practices similar to those that are mandated of publicly-traded corporations in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. One of those mandated practices—the use of financial-oversight committees—is already a common practice in public organizations, though little is known about its effectiveness. This study uses a national sample of local governments to examine whether financial-oversight committees improve financial control and strengthen stakeholder confidence in financial reporting. The findings provide preliminary support for the use of financial-oversight committees as an effective tool to improve financial accountability in local government.

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