Print ISSN: 2204-1990

Online ISSN: 1323-6903

Volume 14, Issue 2

Volume 14, Issue 2, Summer and Autumn 2008

Changing Place: Local People, Recreation and Protected Areas on the South Coast of Western Australia1

Amma Buckley

Journal of Contemporary Issues in Business and Government, 2008, Volume 14, Issue 2, Pages 1-15

The environmental impact of local people recreating in nature is an under-studied aspect of protected area management. A recent review of nature-based recreation was undertaken in regional south-western Australia. Surrounded by an array of protected areas, including a national park with World Heritage status, the local residents of this remote West Australian location have relatively unrestricted access to a variety of conserved landscapes. A mineral resources boom in Western Australia has witnessed a return to mining in the area, accompanied by a considerable population increase of both itinerant and permanent miners. For local people and environmental managers alike, this influx has raised concerns about the carrying capacity of this fragile ecosystem to sustain the wilderness recreation activities of the newly arrived mining community. This paper draws on evidence gathered from a recent study and outlines the extent to which local people can be considered visitors to these protected places.

The Extent and Determinants of Disclosure of Global Reporting Initiative Guidelines: Australian Evidence

Theo Christopher Mirela Filipovic

Journal of Contemporary Issues in Business and Government, 2008, Volume 14, Issue 2, Pages 17-40

his research paper examines the extent and determinants of disclosure of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) in a sample of Australian listed companies. The extent of disclosure was found to be extremely low and selective, differ across industries and couched in general terms. Positive Accounting Theory was used to formulate hypotheses to GRI disclosure in the 2004 annual report of 450 companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. It was hypothesised that GRI disclosure would be positively related to ownership, leverage, big four audit firms (BFAFs), size of the firm, profitability and industry type. A multivariate regression analysis was completed and the results supported a significant positive relation with ownership, leverage, size of the firm and industry type. The remaining two variables, BFAFs and profitability, were not found to be significantly related to GRI disclosure but supported a positive relationship.

Governance: A Procurement Perspective

Yeo Kian Peng Ken

Journal of Contemporary Issues in Business and Government, 2008, Volume 14, Issue 2, Pages 41-54

Substantial attention has recently been given to governance and internal control systems of organisations, particularly in the procurement environment. Poor governance has, in the past, led to several major corporate collapses and, on a smaller scale, poor governance or inadequate internal control processes has resulted in fraud and pilferage. Although there are many avenues for organisations to reprimand the perpetrators, punishment is often insubstantial or nonexistent. This article investigates the factors fostering such fraudulent behaviour and the resources available for deterring these acts. It will also explore the various stages of procurement—contract planning, formation and management—and suggest how organisations can use procurement as a tool to improve governance.

Public-Private Partnerships and Leveraged Private Equity Financing

Guy Callender

Journal of Contemporary Issues in Business and Government, 2008, Volume 14, Issue 2, Pages 55-78

The popularity of outsourcing has remained undiminished in Australia as governments seek to achieve the goals of economic efficiency, debt minimisation and service delivery. The emergence of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) or Private Finance Initiatives (PFIs) has resulted in a more complex phase of the outsourcing process and has coincided with the increased opportunities for private equity funds to successfully bid for PPP/PFI contracts. Private equity capital is a fundamental feature of a capitalist economy; however, the aggregation of large amounts of private funds to participate in PPPs/PFIs represents a new trend that should be evaluated by public managers when negotiating PPPs at the contract formation and contract management stages of such arrangements. While the process of creating a PPP or PFI may be transparent, the financial progress of the project over a 20-30 year period may not be adequately disclosed, so that the expectations of both government and civil society cannot be fully assessed. This paper will draw on certain recent PPP experiences, focusing on some features of private equity that have created unexpected risk to the state and to taxpayers. The research suggests that the financial and operating structures of PPPs must meet the needs of the state to solve its financial and service delivery dilemmas without creating additional risk by uncritical acceptance of complex, highly leveraged contracting arrangements with private equity groups.

Overview of Public Private Partnerships in Australia: Financing, Regulation, Auditing and Proposed Improvements

Anita Taseska

Journal of Contemporary Issues in Business and Government, 2008, Volume 14, Issue 2, Pages 79-90

The ideological demands for public authorities to concentrate on the perceived core competencies of their staff and to seek cost efficient operations has led to the emergence of a number of new philosophies which have appeared under various terms including the New Public Management, the public governance paradigm, public value model and the Best Value model (Talty, 2007). Public private partnerships (PPPs) are perceived to be one of the ways to achieve efficiencies in the provision of services to the public through outsourcing entire projects and their cost to private sector organisations. However, the lack of substantial and structured performance review, especially in the post-contracting stage, means that future PPP projects will not be able to systematically implement lessons learnt from past experiences. The overall conclusion from the literature suggests that the net benefits of PPPs are, so far, still subject to debate and uncertainty, and the absence of a coherent review process will limit improvement in their creation and management.