Usage of Accounting Information in the Dutch Political Arena

There is a growing debate about the potential and the actual usage of public sector accounting information. This paper explores the actual usage of accounting information in parliamentary debates. We do not only analyze the kind of information that is used and which role this information plays, but also who uses this information: do background characteristics play a role in the types of accounting information that are used more frequently? In the context of the Dutch central government, various hypotheses were tested linking the upper echelons theory and the actual usage of accounting information.

In the paper I present today at the CIGAR 2019 Conference in Amsterdam, results show that the usage of accounting information varies greatly between different actors. Especially regarding prior education, the differences between actors were large: people with a prior education in economics and business made use of accounting information to a much greater degree than their counterparts. Also the difference between parliamentarians and members of state was considerable, in favor of the latter. Contrarily, differences between coalition and opposition parties were negligible.