• Class Number 9335
  • Term Code 2960
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • AsPr Janet Lee
    • AsPr Janet Lee
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 22/07/2019
  • Class End Date 25/10/2019
  • Census Date 31/08/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 29/07/2019
SELT Survey Results

The course examines the role of government in Australia and its mechanisms for control over public expenditures and resources to ensure greater efficiency and effectiveness in government activities. It considers the public sector environment and how it differs from private markets, including the roles of externalities and accountability. It examines major issues in public sector financial management; the use of cash and accrual accounting information systems; management of financial and physical assets including environmental and heritage considerations; marketisation of public sector activities; performance measurement issues for departments of state; management and performance of government business enterprises including privatisation issues; public sector audits and roles of the Auditor General and accountability issues; role of the budget, budget process and management, and cash and accrual budgeting systems.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of the requirements for this course, students will be able to:

1. Evaluate the role of government in a modern democratic society;
2. Critically evaluate the differences between the public sector and the business sector parts of the economy, and the implications of these differences for accountability, financial management, accounting, budgeting and performance measurement;
3. Understand, critically analyse and research major issues in public sector accountability, financial management, accounting, budgeting and performance measurement.

Research-Led Teaching

The course is largely built on research-based academic journal articles in addition to government and professional publications. Students will be exposed to the relevant research and will also engage in assessment tasks that require extensive readings and research in public sector accounting issues.

Examination Material or equipment

Details regarding materials and equipment that is permitted in an examination room can be found on the ANU website:


Information regarding permitted examination materials for the course will be available on the examination timetable website when the examination timetable is released:


Required Resources

Prescribed Texts

There is no prescribed textbook for the course. Major use will be made of the following book. Students are expected to have access to a copy of the book for the duration of the semester. The book can be purchased from the co-op bookshop, with a small number of copies also available for 2 hour loan in the reserve loan section of the Chifley Library.

Funnell, W., Cooper, K. and Lee, J., 2012, Public Sector Accounting and Accountability in Australia, 2nd Edition, UNSW Press.

Supplementary Reading Materials

Supplementary reading materials on various topics will be required. The reading materials can be accessed via the specified links provided on the course website or via ANU Library.

Recommended Reading

Australian Accounting Standards (AASB website: http://www.aasb.gov.au)

Barton, A., 2003, Accrual Accounting in Government: A Review of Its Applications, Achievements and Problems, and Proposals for Reform, CPA Australia.

Stiglitz, J. and Rosengard J., 2015, Economics of the Public Sector, 4th edition, Norton.

National Commission of Audit, 2014, Towards Responsible Government, Commonwealth of Australia.

Budding, T., Grossi, G. and Tagesson, T., 2015, Public Sector Accounting, Routledge.

Wanna, J., Lindquist, E. and de Vries, J., 2015, The Global Financial Crisis and its Budget Impacts in OECD Nations: Fiscal Responses and Future Challenges, Edward Elgar.

Pilcher R. and Gilchrist, D., 2019, Public Sector Accounting, Accountability and Governance: Globalising the Experiences of Australia and New Zealand, Routledge.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups and individuals

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information


As a further academic integrity control, students may be selected for a 15 minute individual oral examination of their written assessment submissions.

Any student identified, either during the current semester or in retrospect, as having used ghost writing services will be investigated under the University’s Academic Misconduct Rule.



Email and the Wattle Course Website

Email and the Wattle course website are the preferred ways of communication. If necessary, the lecturer and tutors for this course will contact students on their official ANU student email address. Students should use this email address when contacting staff as spam filters used by ANU may not allow other email addresses to be received. Information about your enrolment and fees from the Registrar and Student Services' office will also be sent to this email address.



Students are expected to check the Wattle site for announcements about this course, e.g. changes to timetables or notifications of cancellations. Notifications of emergency cancellations of lectures or tutorials will be posted on the door of the relevant room.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction Public sector environment and economic case for government
2 Public sector accountability, differences between private and public sectors
3 Public sector accounting systems
4 Asset management and accounting issues, and infrastructure assets Individual essay due on Thursday 15 August
5 Cultural and public heritage assets; Marketisation of public sector service provision
6 Public private partnerships Tutorial papers due on Tuesday
7 Department performance measurement issues Tutorial papers due on Tuesday
8 External reporting Tutorial papers due on Tuesday
9 Public sector auditing Tutorial papers due on Tuesday
10 Government business operation issues Group paper due on Thursday 10 October Tutorial papers due on Tuesday
11 Environmental management, sustainability and accounting issues for government Tutorial papers due on Tuesday
12 The Commonwealth budgets Tutorial papers due on Tuesday

Tutorial Registration

Please see Wattle for tutors’ information.

Tutorial signup for this course will be done via the Wattle website. Detailed information about signup times will be provided on Wattle. When tutorials are available for enrolment, follow these steps:

1. Log on to Wattle, and go to the course site.

2. Click on the link “Tutorial enrolment”

3. On the right of the screen, click on the tab “Become Member of ……” for the tutorial class you wish to enter.

4. Confirm your choice

If you need to change your enrolment, you will be able to do so by clicking on the tab “Leave group…” and then re-enrol in another group. You will not be able to enrol in groups that have reached their maximum number. Please note that enrolment in ISIS must be finalised for you to have access to Wattle.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Tutorial Paper and Presentation 15 % 27/08/2019 01/11/2019 1,2,3
Assignment 1 15 % 15/08/2019 30/08/2019 1,2,3
Assignment 2 20 % 10/10/2019 01/11/2019 1,2,3
Final Examination 50 % 31/10/2019 28/11/2019 1,2,3

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Centrally administered examinations through Examinations, Graduations & Prizes will be timetabled prior to the examination period. The due date listed in the assessment summary is the earliest possible date. Please check ANU Timetabling for further information. Exam scripts will not be returned. Students may review their exam scripts by appointment during scheduled sessions at the RSA School Office.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 27/08/2019
Return of Assessment: 01/11/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Tutorial Paper and Presentation

Each student is required to prepare and present a tutorial question for the course. Active class discussion of tutorial questions is required. Each student is only required to submit one tutorial paper for a tutorial question and present once during the semester. Student presentation will commence from Week 6 until Week 12.

Students are expected to sign up a tutorial question for submission and presentation. Information regarding the tutorial question sign up will be provided in the first tutorial.


Value: Tutorial paper 10%, Presentation 5%

Due date: Tutorial paper submission is due on Tuesday 9am of the week of presentation (The due date listed in the assessment summary is the earliest possible date).

Estimated return date: Approximately one week after the presentation (The return date listed in the assessment summary is the latest possible date).

Details of the tutorial paper and presentation requirements will be provided during the semester via wattle in Week 1. Tutorial questions will be available on Wattle at least one week before the tutorial.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 15/08/2019
Return of Assessment: 30/08/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Assignment 1

Each student is required to prepare an essay for a specified topic in public sector accounting and accountability. The purpose of this assignment is to provide an opportunity for students to evaluate relevant public sector issues and to consolidate the basic concepts relevant to the analysis of public sector accounting issues.

Due date: Thursday 15 August 2019 by 11pm (Week 4)

Estimated return date: By the end of Week 6

Details of the assignment requirements will be provided during the semester via Wattle by Week 2.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 10/10/2019
Return of Assessment: 01/11/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Assignment 2

Each student is required to prepare a research paper for the course on a major issue in public sector accounting. The topic will involve wide reading and research effort. The paper is expected to be well-researched and properly prepared to a satisfactory academic standard.

Due date: Thursday 10 October 2019 by 11pm (Week 10)

Estimated return date: Approximately three weeks after the assignment due date.

Details of the group paper requirements will be provided during the semester via Wattle by Week 6.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 31/10/2019
Return of Assessment: 28/11/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Final Examination

The final exam will comprise of a three-hour open book paper during the examination period held in November. The scope of the final examination will be the whole semester’s syllabus.

Students may take in any written or printed materials excluding ANU library books. Electronic devices of any kind (including dictionaries) are not permitted.

Centrally administered examinations through Examinations, Graduations & Prizes will be timetabled prior to the examination period. The due date listed in the assessment summary is the earliest possible date. Please check ANU Timetabling for further information. Exam scripts will not be returned. Students may review their exam scripts by appointment during scheduled sessions at the RSA School Office.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with.

The Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Assignments will normally be returned to students within two to three weeks after the assignment due date. Students should keep returned marked assignments until final results for the semester are posted. Queries concerning the awarded mark can only be resolved with the original assignments.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

AsPr Janet Lee

Research Interests

Janet Lee is an Associate Professor at the Research School of Accounting. Her primary research interests are in the areas of public sector financial and performance information, and corporate governance issues.

AsPr Janet Lee

Thursday 15:00 17:00
Thursday 15:00 17:00
AsPr Janet Lee

Research Interests

AsPr Janet Lee

Thursday 15:00 17:00
Thursday 15:00 17:00

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