Accountability after structural disaggregation: comparing agency accountability arrangements

SP Overman, ML van Genugten, Sandra van Thiel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


New accountability instruments – performance indicators, audits, and financial incentives – are expected to replace traditional accountability instruments in NPM reforms. We test this expectation by looking at the accountability arrangements of semi-autonomous agencies as a typical example of NPM reforms. Our findings are based on survey data on 342 agencies in six countries. We identify four types of accountability arrangements in semi-autonomous agencies, in line with the four trajectories of public management reform identified by Pollitt and Bouckaert (2004). Accountability relations between agencies and ministries are determined by country-specific administrative regimes, types of agency, and to a lesser extent, agencies' policy fields. We identify new avenues for theory and research into the effects of reforms on accountability in the public sector, and on semi-autonomous agencies in particular.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1102-1120
Number of pages19
JournalPublic Administration
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


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