"The Staffing Levels are Shocking": Accounting for staff in privatised human services

  • Wed 12 May 21

    09:00 - 11:00

  • Online

    Join this Seminar

  • Event speaker

    Associate Professor Jane Andrew & Dr Max Baker

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars
    Essex Accounting Centre (EAC) Research Seminar Series

  • Event organiser

    Essex Business School

  • Contact details

    Dr Danson Kimani

The aim of the Essex Accounting Centre (EAC) research seminar series is to support our world-class research activities in four key areas: social responsibility and corporate governance; (management) accounting change (in privatised, public and third sectors); global development, corruption and accountability; and reporting, regulation and capital markets. The seminar series is also expected to promote interdisciplinary research that links the work of members of the centre with others both within the university and with external institutions.

Seminar abstract

As a case study of prison officers working within one privately managed prison, this study animate the experiences of people working within a privatised public service.

This done to draw attention to the way accounting for staff effects workers in neo-liberalising workplaces, both in terms of the actual nature of their work, and the way that work has been reconstituted to help produce an image of success at a variety of scales – the prison, the company and the state.

In addition, our paper highlights the spatial dimensions (Soja, 1989) of both accounting and neoliberalism, demonstrating the ways in which accounting helps to shape space, both practically and conceptually.



This seminar is free to attend with no need to register in adavance.

Please join this seminar online on Wednesday 12 May 2012 at 9am!


Speaker bios

Jane Andrews

Jane Andrew is an Associate Professor of Accounting at the University of Sydney.

Jane has a particular interest in the relationship between accounting information and public policy and has written extensively on public accountability, carbon accounting, immigration detention, prison privatisation and whistleblowing.

The policy relevance of her work means she is often called upon to contribute to discussions of public policy at the State and Federal level. All of Jane’s work has considered the impact of accounting on issues of equity, justice and well-being within the context of neoliberalism.

In 2016, Jane co-authored a report titled “Prison Privatisation in Australia: The State of the Nation” providing the first comprehensive review of the costs, performance and accountability of Australian private prisons. Jane was appointed Co-Editor in Chief for Critical Perspectives on Accounting in 2018.


Max Baker

Max Baker holds a senior lecturer position at The University of Sydney.

Before his academic career, Max worked in a variety of management accounting roles for a number of large companies such as PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Macquarie Bank. Max’s work has been published in a number of top tier academic journals, books, and industry reports.

He has also been cited in Prison Reform Policy within Australia. In addition to his scholarly research, he has written for a popular audience in print and online media and appeared on TV and radio.

In 2014 Max was the recipient of the Emerald/EFMD award for best PhD thesis in the area of interdisciplinary accounting. More recently he has provided expert testimony and submissions to prison and public sector policy reforms in NSW, WA and at a Federal level.

Max has designed, taught and coordinated a number of accounting courses at the University of Sydney, with a focus on applying current research to the area of performance assessment and control. He is also a chief investigator of a nationwide study of the costs, performance and accountability of Australian private prisons.


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