Accountability, as mentioned earlier, constitutes the soul of effectiveness and quality of public service. Accountability means responsibility. In the ultimate analysis, accountability should and can be fixed and focused only on individual human beings. Fixing responsibility on organisations can be a manner of speaking. An organisation is, after all, an artificial person and an impersonal entity. Fixing accountability on organisations does not really make the practice of accountability meaningful. In any analysis of accountability in public service, we must never forget the fact that accountability is on the individuals. It is when we focus on the individual human element that we will be able to fix accountability and in case of failure rectify the system. In fact, if there is a single element that is responsible for the prevailing poor quality of governance in our country or the quality of services in any sector, we find invariably, it is the lack of sense of accountability.
This is an excerpt from the February 2011 issue of the ‘Forum for Free Enterprise’. Read the full document here.