Governance Disclosure on the Internet: The Case of Australian State Government Departments

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Abstract

This paper examines corporate governance disclosures on the websites of Australian state government departments. The study focuses on the nature and extent of governance information and the ease of finding this information directly on department websites and also in annual reports which are downloadable from websites. Our sample comprises six departments from each of the six states in Australia, giving a sample size of 36 departments. Our findings indicate considerable variability in both the level of disclosure and the accessibility of the information disclosed. The study also highlights a lack of consensus regarding the meaning of governance and what governance comprises, together with the need for a more structured approach to communicating governance information to stakeholders.

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