Examining Audit Committees in the Corporate Governance of Public Bodies

Sheila Ellwood, Javier Garcia-Lacalle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Public bodies have adopted corporate governance regimes from the private sector assuming that accountability and performance will be improved. This paper analyses audit committees in a local public body context, NHS Foundation Trusts (FTs). Audit committees play a key role in enhancing governance. In the adoption of corporate governance, FTs follow the recommendations made by Monitor, the agency that regulates them, that is, a ‘formal’ adoption of corporate governance codes. FTs, however, appear to adapt the role of the audit committee to meet the accountability needs of the wider stakeholders of public hospitals. While audit committees assure (vertical) financial accountability they also provide assurance along horizontal lines of accountability to local communities, professional bodies and other stakeholders.

Corporate governance, Audit Committees, Local Public Bodies, NHS Foundation Trust, Stakeholder theory, Audit Fees, Legal Fees, Consultancy Costs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1138-1162
Number of pages25
JournalPublic Management Review
Issue number6
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Sept 2015

Structured keywords

  • AF Accountability Sustainability and Governance


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