Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Steven Matarelli


Demand for and impacts of performance audits (PA) on public administration in Kazakhstan have not been studied. This information gap increases risks of missed government opportunities to improve public sector performance. Using new public management theory and the principal-agent model as guiding lenses, the purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the demand for and effects of PA on Kazakhstan’s public administration. The research question explored the lived experiences and perceptions of the key participants and users of PAs, i.e., auditors, managers of auditees, and parliamentarians, and included reviews of over 200 official documents including audit reports and 14 semistructured interviews. Transcripts underwent inductive descriptive and conceptual coding, integrated application of bracketing and constructed thematic were used to generate and verify themes and patterns associated with PA demand and impact. Research findings illustrated that PAs are frequently requested in Kazakhstan due to problems in public administration, impacting positively and negatively those involved in PA, audit organizations, auditees, and contributing to improved budget process, laws, and regulations. Positive social change implications include providing information for parliamentarian decision-making on using responsive PA and for audit leaders and auditees on development strategies, fostering new performance auditor professional advancement. Additionally, new insights on influential PA triggers may help auditors undertake useful PA, while new PA impact information may support public policy leaders as they steadily improve citizens’ well-being through responsible government.