Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Dear Colleagues

I was wondering how to get this new blog started and was helped by stumbling into Dr David More in Australia. His profile:
Dr David More MB, PhD, FACHI
I am vitally interested in making a difference to the quality and safety of Health Care in Australia through the use of information technology. There is no choice ... it has to be made to work! That is the reason the blog exists and why I keep typing :-) David. Disclaimer - Please note all the commentary are personal views based on the best evidence available to me - If I have it wrong let me know!
The subject I stumbled on was titled "The Sad Joke of Public Accountability and Transparency in Australia". The URL is

At the moment there are two groups of people ... a community of people that very much want to see accounting, accountability and transparency ... and a community of people who want to avoid this at all costs.

I am seeing information from many countries around the world ... and there is great concern about the failure of public bodies and their political leadership to give a decent accounting about what is going on ... this is evident in the USA and Canada ... in the UK and other countries in Europe ... in India ... in Australia. The failure of accounting in the public sector is not limited to countries in Africa ... it is now just about as blatant everywhere.

WHY? Bluntly put ... the only way to make a lot of money in a salaried position with modest remuneration is to have a lot going on "under the table". This type of behavior is everywhere ... it is obvious as soon as anyone tries to follow the money, but the system, and especially the "rule of law" makes it very very difficult to bring real justice to bear.

HOW can this be? Well ... the sad reality is that we, the people, have stood idly by for decades as this has become worse and worse. I am terribly dissatisfied by the performance of the accountancy profession that seems to have become a virtual irrelevance in the modern scheme of things. I am proud of my accountancy training, but I don't sense that the accountancy profession is standing up very much and making noise about the lack of accounting and accountability in important places around modern public institutions.

Dr. More wants to use modern information technology to help get accounting and accountability into the Australian Health Sector ... and I want to do something similar in the broad international relief and development sector. I call it public accounting ... fund flows intended to do a public good should, it seems to me, be accounted for in a way that the public can understand, and it should be possible to see that the amounts were reasonable in relationship to results. As a corporate CFO, this was a pretty standard practice ... in the public accounting arena, however, it is totally absent.

It will be interesting to see how public accounting emerges.


Peter Burgess
The Tr-Ac-Net Organization

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