• Class Number 8462
  • Term Code 3060
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • AsPr Janet Lee
    • AsPr Janet Lee
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 27/07/2020
  • Class End Date 30/10/2020
  • Census Date 31/08/2020
  • Last Date to Enrol 03/08/2020
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 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.

Reading Materials

A few chapters of the following book will be used:

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

Students are expected to have access to a copy of the book for the duration of the semester. A small number of copies are available for 2 hour loan in the reserve loan section of the Chifley Library.

An electronic version of the book is available from the ANU Library via https://library.anu.edu.au/record=b3629129, but with limited concurrent users at any one time.

Supplementary reading materials on various topics will be required. The reading materials can be accessed via the specified links provided on Wattle 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 on assignments
  • verbal comments during tutorials and consultation.

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.

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 Assignment 1 due on Wednesday 19 August
5 Cultural and public heritage assets; Marketisation of public sector service provision
6 Public private partnerships
7 Government business operation issues
8 Public sector auditing
9 Department performance measurement issues
10 External reporting Assignment 2 due on Wednesday 14 October
11 Environmental management, sustainability and accounting issues for government
12 The Commonwealth budgets

Tutorial Registration

This course offers live on-line tutorials. Tutorial signup 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
Assignment 1 15 % 19/08/2020 04/09/2020 1,2,3
Assignment 2 25 % 14/10/2020 04/11/2020 1,2,3
Final Examination 60 % 05/11/2020 03/12/2020 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 Academic Integrity . 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.


Students are expected to attend and participate in the live on-line tutorials.


Centrally administered examinations through Examinations, Graduations & Prizes will be timetabled prior to the examination period. Please check ANU Timetabling for further information. Exam scripts will not be returned. Information regarding exam script viewing will be provided on the Research School of Accounting webpage in due course.

Information regarding permitted examination materials for the course will be available on the examination timetable website when the examination timetable is released: http://timetable.anu.edu.au/

Assessment Task 1

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 19/08/2020
Return of Assessment: 04/09/2020
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: Wednesday 19 August 2020 by 11pm (Week 4)

Estimated return date: 4 September 2020 (Week 6)

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

Assessment Task 2

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 14/10/2020
Return of Assessment: 04/11/2020
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: Wednesday 14 October 2020 by 11pm (Week 10)

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

Details of the assignment requirements will be provided during the semester via Wattle by Week 7.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 60 %
Due Date: 05/11/2020
Return of Assessment: 03/12/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Final Examination

Details of the final exam will be provided no later than Week 12.

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. Information regarding exam script viewing will be provided on the Research School of Accounting webpage in due course.

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. Extensions may be granted 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 12:00 14:00
Thursday 12:00 14:00
AsPr Janet Lee

Research Interests

AsPr Janet Lee

Thursday 12:00 14:00
Thursday 12:00 14:00

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