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The constraining effect of incomplete contracts on the public reporting of waste management data

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Oosthuizen, H ORCID: 0000-0001-5236-0487, Willett, R, Wilmshurst, T ORCID: 0000-0003-1863-8566 and Williams, B ORCID: 0000-0002-0688-1940 2019 , 'The constraining effect of incomplete contracts on the public reporting of waste management data' , Australasian Journal of Environmental Management, vol. 26, no. 4 , pp. 370-385 , doi: 10.1080/14486563.2019.1645751.

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Abstract

This article assesses the extent to which incomplete contracts and agreements in waste management limit accountability to stakeholders. The theory of incomplete contracts holds that contracts are under-specified in areas where transaction costs in controlling contingencies exceed the perceived benefits to be derived from such control. A textual analysis of the narrative embodied in public policy documents, the corporate plans of anAustralian regional waste management authority and its member councils, and transcripts from interviews with key actors, indicate complex contractual relations resulting from commonwealth and state waste policies. The study finds transaction costs are theimmediate cause of incomplete contracts in the provision of waste data. The resulting agency problem could be alleviated by designing a more complete social contract, through legislation and regulations specifying minimum data requirements in contracts to outsource waste management. Improved regulation would facilitate more effective policing of illegal stockpiling of wastes and reveal the impact of the recently increased waste disposal to landfill on proximate amenities such as property values.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Oosthuizen, H and Willett, R and Wilmshurst, T and Williams, B
Keywords: environmental management accounting, local government, incomplete contracts, social contract, waste management
Journal or Publication Title: Australasian Journal of Environmental Management
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1448-6563
DOI / ID Number: 10.1080/14486563.2019.1645751
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2019 Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand Inc.

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