"Exploring the Relationship Between Accountability and Performance in UK's Private Finance Initiative," with Istemi Demirag and Iqbal Khadaroo, presented at Conference on Governing the Corporation: Mapping the Loci of Power in Corporate Governance Design, Queen's University, Belfast, 20-21 September 2004.
There is growing evidence to suggest that accountability is implicated in New Public Management (NPM) reforms and performance measures. This paper explores and theorizes the nature of this ‘problematic’ relationship using four assumptions: warrantability, tractability, measurability and feasibility in the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) literature. We argue, using value for money (VFM) in PFI as a mechanism to connect accountability to performance, that the concept of accountability has lost its meaning through increased societal expectations, loss of trust to public authorities and their promises of accountability, and increasing conflict of objectives between public and private interest groups. We conclude that existing literature on accountability fails to consider the linkages between accountability and performance and that further theorizing and hypothesis testing is needed using the four assumptions made in this paper in the context of the new emerging empirical evidence.