Audit committees and accountability in local government: A national survey

Jonathan West, Evan M. Berman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Financial scandals in city governments have received increased publicity in recent years. Audit committees have been suggested as a way review and improve standards and procedures for financial accountability. Audit committees assist local government managers in overseeing and monitoring the financial accounting and auditing process. They provide a communication link between elected officials, municipal managers, and independent auditors. This study relies on national survey data to examine the prevalence, role, and composition of audit committees in cities with populations over 65,000 and the conditions affecting their use and effectiveness. Interviews and a brief case study supplement survey data to provide richer detail regarding the performance of audit committees in ensuring improved accountability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)329-362
Number of pages34
JournalInternational Journal of Public Administration
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003


  • Accountability
  • Audit committee
  • Best practices
  • Ethics
  • Local government

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Public Administration


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