Abstract and Keywords
As the programs and commitment of the government have become more complex and specialized, the roles played by a wide range of accountability institutions has become more prominent. The most important of these are the independent national audit offices which have emerged to review the finances and performance of far- flung government agents in meeting public objectives. In this chapter, we review the evolution of these audit institutions worldwide, examining what factors affect their independence and influence in shaping the agendas and performance of government agencies. Far from hegemonic influence, audit offices in fact exercise variable influence, depending on such factors as the professional capacity and autonomy of the audit institution and the receptivity of the broader political system to their recommendations.
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