Bruce Stone, O. P. Dwivedi, and Joseph G. Jabbra list 8 types of accountability, namely: moral, administrative, political, managerial, market, legal/judicial, constituency relation, and professional. Leadership accountability cross cuts many of these distinctions. Political accountability Political accountability is the accountability of the government, civil servants and politicians to the public and to legislative bodies such as congress or parliament.
In a few cases, recall elections can be used to revoke the office of an elected official. Generally, however, voters do not have any direct way of holding elected representatives to account during the term for which they have been elected. Additionally, some officials and legislators may be appointed rather than elected. Constitution, or statute, can empower a legislative body to hold their own members, the government, and government bodies to account. This can be through holding an internal or independent inquiry.Order now
Inquiries are usually held in response to an allegation of misconduct or corruption. The powers, procedures and sanctions vary from country to country. The legislature may have the power to impeach the individual, remove them, or suspend them from office for a period of time. The accused person might also decide to resign before trial. Impeachment in the United States has been used both for elected representatives and other civil offices, such as district court judges.
In parliamentary systems, the government relies on the support or parliament, which gives parliament power to hold the government to account. For example, some parliaments can pass a vote of no confidence in the government. Ethical accountability Ethical accountability is the practice of improving overall personal and organizational performance by developing and promoting responsible tools and professional expertise, and by advocating an effective enabling environment for people and organizations to embrace a culture of sustainable development.
Ethical accountability may include the individual, as well as small and large businesses, not-for-profit organizations, research institutions and academics, and government. One scholarly paper has posited that “it is unethical to plan an action for social change without excavating the knowledge and wisdom of the people who are responsible for implementing the plans of action and the people whose lives will be affected. ” Administrative accountability
Internal rules and norms as well as some independent commission are mechanisms to hold civil servant within the administration of government accountable. Within department or ministry, firstly, behavior is bounded by rules and regulations; secondly, civil servants are subordinates in a hierarchy and accountable to superiors. Nonetheless, there are independent “watchdog” units to scrutinize and hold departments accountable; legitimacy of these commissions is built upon their independence, as it avoids any conflicts of interest.
Apart from internal checks, some “watchdog” units accept complaints from citizens, bridging government and society to hold civil servants accountable to citizens, but not merely governmental departments. Market accountability Under voices for decentralization and privatization of the government, services provided are nowadays more “customer-driven” and should aim to provide convenience and various choices to citizens; with this perspective, there are comparisons and competition between public and private services and this, ideally, improves quality of service.
As mentioned by Bruce Stone, the standard of assessment for accountability is therefore “responsiveness of service providers to a body of ‘sovereign’ customers and produce quality service. Outsourcing service is one means to adopt market accountability. Government can choose among a shortlist of companies for outsourced service; within the contracting period, government can hold the company by rewriting contracts or by choosing another company. Constituency relations Within this perspective, a particular agency or the government is accountable f voices from agencies, groups or institutions, which is outside the public sector and representing citizens’ interests in a particular constituency or field, are heard. Moreover, the government is obliged to empower members of agencies with political rights to run for elections and be elected; or, appoint them into the public sector as a way to hold the government representative and ensure voices from all constituencies are included in policy-making process. Public/private overlap
With the increase over the last several decades in public service provision by private entities, especially in Britain and the United States, some have called for increased political accountability mechanisms to be applied to otherwise non-political entities. Legal scholar Anne Davies, for instance, argues that the line between public institutions and private entities like corporations is becoming blurred in certain areas of public service provision in the United Kingdom and that this can compromise political accountability in those areas.
She and others argue that some administrative law reforms are necessary to address this accountability gap. With respect to the public/private overlap in the United States, public concern over the contracting out of government (including military) services and the resulting accountability gap has been highlighted recently following the shooting incident involving the Blackwater security firm in Iraq.