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Politicians as the guardians of the status quo: a demonstration of rank and privilege without responsibility

Conference Paper


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Abstract


  • Much has been written about corruption and bribery

    involving major corporations in the United

    States such as Lockheed. However, most of this lite

    rature ignores the link between Watergate

    and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The role of

    accounting and accountants in disguising the

    use of corporate funds for illicit purposes has als

    o not been addressed even though many of the

    enquiries into Watergate and related activities exp

    ressed concern that none of the cases of

    financial misstatement had been discovered or, at l

    east reported, by auditors. In other words, the

    accountability system envisaged in the financial re

    porting and audit requirements of the

    Securities Exchange Act and professional pronouncem

    ents had failed. Nonetheless, the

    Foreign Corrupt Practices Act has done little to ad

    dress the accounting and audit failures that

    gave rise to its enactment. The paper uses

    post-Watergate investigations and hearings leading

    to

    the enactment of the United States Foreign Corrupt

    Practices Act in 1977 to demonstrate the

    power of interested parties to influence for their

    own benefit, the outcome of legislation and

    other forms of regulation. In general, the findings

    support the observation expressed in the

    Letter of Transmittal of the Final Report of the Se

    nate Select Committee on Presidential

    Campaign Activities (1974a, p.1227) that while “ran

    k has its privileges because rank has its

    responsibilities”, privilege is often used “as a do

    dge of responsibility”. The paper draws

    largely on historical documents, in particular, rep

    orts of the Senate Select Committee on

    Presidential Campaign Activities, transcripts of he

    aring of various House of Representatives

    and Senate Committees and Sub-Committees dealing wi

    th issues arising from Watergate and

    Watergate-related activities.

UOW Authors


Publication Date


  • 2013

Citation


  • Cooper, K. & Roudaki, H. (2013). Politicians as the guardians of the status quo: a demonstration of rank and privilege without responsibility. Seventh Asia Pacific Interdisciplinary Research in Accounting Conference (pp. 1-27). Kobe, Japan: APIRA Conference Committee.

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1439&context=buspapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/buspapers/437

Start Page


  • 1

End Page


  • 27

Place Of Publication


  • http://www.apira2013.org/proceedings/pdfs/K252.pdf

Abstract


  • Much has been written about corruption and bribery

    involving major corporations in the United

    States such as Lockheed. However, most of this lite

    rature ignores the link between Watergate

    and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The role of

    accounting and accountants in disguising the

    use of corporate funds for illicit purposes has als

    o not been addressed even though many of the

    enquiries into Watergate and related activities exp

    ressed concern that none of the cases of

    financial misstatement had been discovered or, at l

    east reported, by auditors. In other words, the

    accountability system envisaged in the financial re

    porting and audit requirements of the

    Securities Exchange Act and professional pronouncem

    ents had failed. Nonetheless, the

    Foreign Corrupt Practices Act has done little to ad

    dress the accounting and audit failures that

    gave rise to its enactment. The paper uses

    post-Watergate investigations and hearings leading

    to

    the enactment of the United States Foreign Corrupt

    Practices Act in 1977 to demonstrate the

    power of interested parties to influence for their

    own benefit, the outcome of legislation and

    other forms of regulation. In general, the findings

    support the observation expressed in the

    Letter of Transmittal of the Final Report of the Se

    nate Select Committee on Presidential

    Campaign Activities (1974a, p.1227) that while “ran

    k has its privileges because rank has its

    responsibilities”, privilege is often used “as a do

    dge of responsibility”. The paper draws

    largely on historical documents, in particular, rep

    orts of the Senate Select Committee on

    Presidential Campaign Activities, transcripts of he

    aring of various House of Representatives

    and Senate Committees and Sub-Committees dealing wi

    th issues arising from Watergate and

    Watergate-related activities.

UOW Authors


Publication Date


  • 2013

Citation


  • Cooper, K. & Roudaki, H. (2013). Politicians as the guardians of the status quo: a demonstration of rank and privilege without responsibility. Seventh Asia Pacific Interdisciplinary Research in Accounting Conference (pp. 1-27). Kobe, Japan: APIRA Conference Committee.

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1439&context=buspapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/buspapers/437

Start Page


  • 1

End Page


  • 27

Place Of Publication


  • http://www.apira2013.org/proceedings/pdfs/K252.pdf