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A case study of Capital Budgeting Process in the Irish Public Sector : Metro North and the Parliamentary Agenda

Gibney, Desmond (2013) A case study of Capital Budgeting Process in the Irish Public Sector : Metro North and the Parliamentary Agenda. In: Irish Transport Network Conference, September 2013, Trinity College Dublin. (Submitted)

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Metro North was the largest infrastructure project in Irish history, and if the project had proceeded, it would have been one of the largest public private partnership (PPP) projects in Europe. How much consideration was given in Irish parliamentary debates to the Metro North PPP rail project? Did parliamentary discussion of Metro North consider political themes, such as efficiency, risk and accountability, which have been regarded as being neglected in the literature on PPPs? Was there a discussion of a key issue for the public sector, namely value for money (VFM)? Does an analysis of parliamentary debates provide support for use of the ‘agendas and alternatives’ framework developed by John W. Kingdon?

This paper is part of a wider research study of the practice of public sector capital budgeting in Ireland from a management accounting perspective, by means of a case study of the Metro North project. The study aims to fill a gap in the existing literature by examining the process, rather than the financial calculations, involved in capital budgeting.

Parliamentary debates between 2000 and 2009 are analysed
in order to determine the extent to which Metro North featured in the discourse of legislators. The deterioration of Ireland’s public finances and reaction of bond markets, led to the eventual deferral of Metro North in November 2011.

The theoretical framework used is the ‘agendas and alternatives’ framework developed by John W Kingdon in his study of healthcare policy and transportation policy in the United States, where the term ‘agenda’ refers to the list of items to which serious attention is being paid at any point in time and the term ‘alternative’ refers to items not on the agenda but which could be seriously considered.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HJ Public Finance
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government > Public Sector
Divisions: School of Business > Staff Research and Publications
Depositing User: Caoimhe Ní Mhaicín
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2014 15:33
Last Modified: 21 May 2018 10:25

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