Public housing accountability in nunavut a proposed framework for investigation
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Public Housing Accountability in Nunavut: A proposed framework for investigation. Author: Ron Baker University of Guelph Discussant: Janet Mack Queensland University of Technology. Purpose of the Paper .

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Public Housing Accountability in Nunavut: A proposed framework for investigation

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Public Housing Accountability in Nunavut: A proposed framework for investigation

Author: Ron Baker University of Guelph

Discussant: Janet Mack Queensland University of Technology


Purpose of the Paper

  • To develop a theoretically informed investigative framework for examining the system of accountability for the construction, allocation and maintenance of public housing in Nunavut.


Motivation

  • Criticisms and concerns around the management, affordability and condition of social housing

    • 2009 – Auditor General noted monitoring deficiencies by the Housing Commission with repect to the delivery of public housing services

    • 2011 – 63% of housing was either overcrowded or in need of major repair

    • 2012 – construction cost overruns


Theoretical Framework

  • Accountability and Accounting

    • Identifies various definitions of accountability

    • Laughlin’s 1990 model

    • Adapted

    • Effects of western-based accounting and accountability mechanisms on Indigenous peoples

    • Expanded definition of accounting


Theoretical Framework

  • Public Accountability

    • Bovens (2007), Romzek (2000), Aucoin and Heintzman (2000)

    • 3 purposes

      • Control

      • Assurance

      • Continuous improvement


Theoretical Framework

  • Governmentality and Governance

    • Foucault

    • Role of accounting – communication

    • “Accountability arrangement is the medium through which government programs can be made operable and by which the population becomes knowable”


Public Housing in Nunavut

  • Managed by Nunavut Housing Corporation (50% of all housing in Nunavut)

  • NHC is a crown corporation

  • One of its responsibilities is to ‘provide education training and support to Local Housing Organisations in the areas of administration, finance program delivery and maintenance’


Public Housing in Nunavut

  • LHOs are independent organisations

  • partner with the NHC to deliver public housing programmes

  • Independently audited


Auditor General Report 2008

  • Allocation process for housing units not followed consistently by LHOs

  • Inspection of housing units and their condition ratings not being monitores by the NHC

  • NHC did not receive regular reports from LHOs and did not appear to monitor them.


Suggestions

  • While the purpose of the paper was clearly stated and the problem of public housing in Nunavut was identified – there was no clear indication of how the two related.

  • I wondered whether a closer connection between the application of western-based accountability (including mechanisms) and indigenous peoples might be useful – particularly in the discussion.


Suggestions

  • The discussion and conclusions need to be more comprehensively framed in terms of both the literature and the theory

  • The paper identifies a weakness in the accountability systems that is the potential cause of the issues surrounding the delivery of public housing but does not fully develop this idea.


Suggestions

  • I thought this was a really interesting paper

  • Addressed a practical problem from a theoretical perspective

  • Addressed an issue that is relevant internationally


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