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Administrative Learning or Political Blaming? Public Servants, Parliamentary Committees and the Drama of Public Accountability

Citation

Grube, DC, Administrative Learning or Political Blaming? Public Servants, Parliamentary Committees and the Drama of Public Accountability, Australian Journal of Political Science, 49, (2) pp. 221-236. ISSN 1036-1146 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1080/10361146.2014.880402

Abstract

In theory, within Westminster systems the buck stops with the minister. Ministers are responsible for the actions of their departments and accountable for policy outcomes. In practice, it is often senior public servants rather than their ministerial masters who face the fierce questions of parliamentary committees when things go wrong. This article uses dramaturgy theory and blame theory to assess whether the nature of the parliamentary committee setting encourages or inhibits opportunities for a 'learning' type of accountability. Through a comparative study of committee appearances by public servants in the UK and Australia, the article argues that the adversarial nature of committee hearings encourages 'blame games' that do little to guarantee better decision-making in the future. © 2014 Australian Political Studies Association.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Studies in Human Society
Research Group:Political Science
Research Field:Political Science not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Government and Politics
Objective Field:Government and Politics not elsewhere classified
Author:Grube, DC (Associate Professor Dennis Grube)
ID Code:99010
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:3
Deposited By:Faculty of Arts
Deposited On:2015-03-11
Last Modified:2017-11-15
Downloads:0

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