The accountability need, both internal and external to the public organizations, is becoming always more relevant for a public sector which shows a tendency to improve its own performance. Social accounting is among the most common external accountability tools used in the Italian public sector. This work aims to highlight some critical aspects of social accounting and how these could be overcome through the use of an accountability tool addressing the informational needs of citizens (citizens’ report). To this end, the essential elements that characterize the social report are highlighted based upon a review of national and international literature on the subject. The main social accounting criticisms highlighted by the literature review are represented by: • the private origin characterising this tool, that implies some risk of private approach in introducing the social report in the public sector; • the complexity attributed to the social report in term of functions, multiobjects and multistakeholders reporting; • the stakeholder consensus and involvement (what role has been attributed to the social report in managing stakeholders consensus? which could be the impact of stakeholders involvement in drawing up the document?); • the difficulties in showing the social effects of the activity realized. In addition, the work also describes the main characteristics that should distinguish the citizens’ report (public sector document, one main function tool, one stakeholder focus).

I contributi della letteratura internazionale e nazionale in tema di social accounting: quali criticità e quali spazi per un Bilancio per il cittadino negli enti locali?

fabio de matteis
2011

Abstract

The accountability need, both internal and external to the public organizations, is becoming always more relevant for a public sector which shows a tendency to improve its own performance. Social accounting is among the most common external accountability tools used in the Italian public sector. This work aims to highlight some critical aspects of social accounting and how these could be overcome through the use of an accountability tool addressing the informational needs of citizens (citizens’ report). To this end, the essential elements that characterize the social report are highlighted based upon a review of national and international literature on the subject. The main social accounting criticisms highlighted by the literature review are represented by: • the private origin characterising this tool, that implies some risk of private approach in introducing the social report in the public sector; • the complexity attributed to the social report in term of functions, multiobjects and multistakeholders reporting; • the stakeholder consensus and involvement (what role has been attributed to the social report in managing stakeholders consensus? which could be the impact of stakeholders involvement in drawing up the document?); • the difficulties in showing the social effects of the activity realized. In addition, the work also describes the main characteristics that should distinguish the citizens’ report (public sector document, one main function tool, one stakeholder focus).
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11587/416984
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