Investigation of Budgetary Performance Measurement Practices and Use of Accounting Information in Tanzanian Local Government Authorities (Lgas) Decision Making Process
Keywords:Performance Measurement Practices, Accounting Information, Budgetary Performance, Local Government, Capital Development Grant (LCDG
The main objective of this paper is to examine the relationship between budgetary performance measurement assessment practices and the use of accounting information in the Local Government budgetary decision making processes. The paper specifically seeks to establish relationship between the assessment of Local Government Capital Development Grant (LCDG) and symbolic and instrumental use of accounting information in LGAs’ budgetary decision making process. The motivation of the research objective is based on the peculiar role of performance measurement as New Public Management techniques for achieving efficiency and ensures financial legitimacy in LGAs of developing countries. The paper is informed by New Institutional Theory in which, assessment of LCDG is perceived to have coercive and normative pressures that have direct relationships with symbolic and instrumental use of accounting information in budgetary decision making. Moreover, the assessment of LCDG is expected to have indirect relationship with organisational budgetary performance in term of efficiency and legitimacy. The studies in public sector are dominated with case study strategy whose findings lack generalisability even within the studied context. The paper employed survey strategy and it administered 208 questionnaires to Tanzanian LGAs, political actors and public officials that included executive directors and heads of departments. The selection of such units of analysis is based on the role of councillors and public officials in the LGAs budgetary decision making and their role in adoption and implementation of NPM techniques that include performance measurement practices. The data were analysed by using structural equation modelling (SEM) in order to test six hypotheses in which four attested direct relationships and two attested indirect relationships. The analysis through SEM revealed the role of performance measurement techniques in enhancing the budgetary performance by coercing and professionalising instrumental use of accounting information in budgetary decision making by both political actors and public officials. At large, this paper informs stakeholders such as Central Government who adopt, coordinate, control and implement the assessment of LCDG to ensure that the assessment is conducted efficiently and effectively manner because it leads to positive change in the LGAs’ decision making processes through the use of accounting information.