In the moonlight? The control and accountability of government corporations in Australia

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Abstract

Government corporations have been an integral part of the Australian system of public administration since colonial times. Yet they have been mired in controversy over the years, including the large-scale banking collapses in Victoria and South Australia. Government corporations pose a tension between the independence of an arms-length body, in terms of managerial and operational freedom from government control, and accountability to the government that owns or controls the corporation. This article examines the control and accountability of statutory corporations and government-owned
and -controlled companies in Australia, both in terms of internal controls via the
structuring of these corporations and the operation of directors’ duties, and external controls through legal, parliamentary, and financial accountability. It argues that the device of the statutory corporation should be preferred, as it possesses the virtues of an arms-length body within a more comprehensive governance and accountability framework.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-336
Number of pages34
JournalMelbourne University Law Review
Volume43
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • government corporation
  • government company
  • accountability
  • judicial review
  • parliamentary accountability
  • financial accountability

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