A discourse analysis concerning the performativity of performance audit in Indonesia

  • Hendri Syukri

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    New Public Management discourse with characteristics around marketisation has replaced the conventional concept of the global public sector, including in Indonesia. The role of performance audit is assumed to improve accountability in a democratic government. To contribute to the neoliberal government, Supreme Audit Institutions have modified performance audit from its traditional oversight role in scrutinising the governments’ economy, efficiency, and effectiveness to an amplified demand for better quality assurance and public service delivery. However, fantasies held by auditors as modernisers or agents of change under the New Public Management discourse triggers a crisis of identity (Morin, 2011), making it problematic for the auditors to maintain credibility and affecting the audit quality (Morin, 2003, 2011; Skærbæk, 2009). It indicates that performance audit effectiveness has been questioned in overcoming the everyday problems of waste, inefficiency and financial abuse in the public sector. In Indonesia, the Audit Board of the Republic of Indonesia or Badan Pemeriksa Keuangan (BPK), by the authoritative power of Law No. 15/2004 and Law No. 15/2006, has undertaken significant reforms, signifying BPK as the national auditor with a new mandate to conduct performance audit. In reflecting upon the 15 years following institution and implementation, this research examines why Indonesia adopted performance audit, how it is being implemented, and how it impacts stakeholders, especially the public. The intention is to take Power's (1997) ‘The Audit Society’ further by looking at the embodiment of the audit by understanding the materialisation of the programmatic and technological elements of performance audit by auditors. Informed by Post-structuralist Discourse Theory, this study ontologically understands the performativity and subjectivation of auditors’ identity given the power of dominant discourses that influence the performance of performance audit in Indonesia. The thesis employs Butler’s (1990, 1993) theory of performativity to understand the constraints on performance auditors. From a methodological perspective, the thesis adopts Glynos & Howarth (2007) Logics Critical of Explanation as a framework and Quintilian’s (1920) Rhetorical Redescription as an analytical device to analyse the empirical data. This thesis illustrates that the practice of performance audit in Indonesia has been constrained by a constitutive lack within auditors and through fear and repression.
    Date of Award2022
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorHarun Harun (Supervisor), David Carter (Supervisor) & Barbara De Lima Voss (Supervisor)

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