Individual Responsibility In Parliamentary Cabinet System of Government
The principle of individual responsibility simply means that a minister takes full responsibility for any act done in his ministry even though he may have neither initiated nor supported it. L
As the political head of his ministry or department, he is accountable to the cabinet and parliament for things done in his ministry. It is a principle of the cabinet system of government in which each and every minister is held accountable for any act done within his ministry and he alone suffers the consequences of his action.
In modern times, the minister does no more than to direct the senior officials of his ministry. The administration of a government department is carried on by the permanent civil service, subject to the approval of the minister, the cabinet, parliament and ultimately the electorate.
The minister makes use of the civil service organization and employs the specialized knowledge of the civil servants in developing ministerial policies to coincide with the cabinet’s programme. He is, more or less, the intermediary between his ministry and the cabinet and parliament.
Whatever is done in the ministry is done in the name of the monarch (Minister) and can only be valid if it bears the counter signature of the minister within whose jurisdiction the matter lies. In endorsing a proposal, he bears full responsibility for the actions of his subordinates.
The principle of individual responsibility is therefore a corollary of the principle of collective responsibility. They both operate principally in the parliamentary system of government.