Accountability in Government Office | Accountability in Public Office
Meaning of Accountability
Accountability is the requirement which subjects public office holders or political leaders to detailed scrutiny by the legislature over objectives, use of resources and manner of performance.
The legislature may want to establish whether objectives are being achieved or funds are being judiciously applied. It is a process by which public officials, including administrators, are subjected to public scrutiny to ensure that the goals and objectives of government are achieved.
Accountability is also an act by which public officials render a good account of their activities while in office. It is aimed at achieving transparency and openness in public business.
Accountability here also means responsibility in government. A responsible government is therefore a government, which is accountable to the people.
Significance of Accountability
What is implied in accountability is that any elected government is responsible directly or indirectly to the electorate. It is an obligation by the holder of political power to account for the proper exercise of his duties and powers to some superior person or group.
This obligation normally rests on custom, law or constitutional provision. Examples of its operation include the responsibility of ministers for the action of their subordinates; (i.e., civil servants), the general responsibility of legislators to their electors and the responsibility of administrative bodies for the legality or otherwise of their decisions and actions.