A financial autopsy on the CEGB: lessons for privatization

Heald, D. (1989) A financial autopsy on the CEGB: lessons for privatization. Energy Policy, 17(4), pp. 337-350. (doi: 10.1016/0301-4215(89)90005-0)

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This article examines the financial performance of the CEGB during the 1980s, the period for which inflation-adjusted current cost accounting (CCA) accounts are available. The CEGB is shown to have made imaginative efforts to produce a workable system of CCA asset valuation. However, the system has not been sufficiently transparent and too much discretion, without the onus to explain and to justify, has been available. Moreover, reported CCA results have been compromised by dubious practices in the area of provision and reserve accounting. The privatized generators which will emerge from the ashes of the CEGB will be much more reluctant to reveal commercial and technical information which would be useful to either potential competitors or predators. Accounting data will become much less comparable, unless regulators enforce either strict historic cost (HC) principles or directly supervise inflation-adjustment.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Heald, Professor David
Authors: Heald, D.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Accounting and Finance
Journal Name:Energy Policy
ISSN (Online):1873-6777
Published Online:25 June 2003

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