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This paper investigates how contemporary public policy for public-private partnerships (PPPs) deals with non-financial values and thereby shapes the way social, cultural and environmental issues are accounted for.Design/methodology/approachA case study critically analyses PPP policy in Victoria, Australia, an acknowledged leader in the area. The investigation of the policy’s approach to non-financial value focusses on the treatment of social and environmental issues, particularly in relation to indigenous cultural heritage values.FindingsIt is found that important non-financial issues are characterised as risks to be quantified and monetised in PPP project assessment. A critical analysis shows that this approach obscures many significant dimensions of social, environmental and Indigenous cultural heritage value. The resultant relegation of non-financial values in public discourse and decision-making is seen to entrench unsustainable practices.Social implicationsThe paper shows how public policy may shape actions and outcomes that impact directly on social, environmental and indigenous cultural heritage values.Originality/valueThis study provides insights into contemporary social and environmental accounting and accountability for PPPs. It adds to the understanding of the implications of public policy framings of non-financial values.
Meditari Accountancy Research – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 21, 2021
Keywords: Accountability; Risk; Public policy; Cultural heritage; Indigenous; Social and environmental accounting; Non-financial value; Public-private partnerships (PPPs)
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