We have been seeing of late in New Public Management (NPM) about the changes required in Government’s role. A number of stages are required to get an approval for a project. Government tends to keep the process intact rather than the end result. All this is done to keep the government machinery accountable.
Accountable to.. (Willems & Dooren, 2011)
- Political mechanisms – future elections, political debate, questions of opposition
- Judicial review – questioning by the courts
- Superior authority – chain of hierarchical command, government auditors, regulatory bodies, ombudsman
- Groups – Citizens, Interest groups (NGO’s)
In India, the ‘5 C’s and 1 M’ which question government decisions are CBI, CVC, CAG, CJI and CIC. The M is of course Media (governancenow.com)
Now, the account holders (people, judiciary, authority) concentrate on the process and not the performance of accounting. It has become easier to hold someone accountable for a 'failure in finance and fairness' rather than on a 'failure in performance'.
What is required now is a change looking at efficiency and value for money.
Few solutions in this regard as mentioned in (Forrer et.al, 2010) are
- Cost- benefit analysis - to show (people, judiciary and authority) that the project is done because of the benefits
- Get social and political support – by increasing transparency and involving people in decision making
- Performance measurement – based on implementation and benefit to people
- Willems, T., & Van Dooren, W. (2011). Lost in diffusion? How collaborative arrangements lead to an accountability paradox. International Review of Administrative Sciences, 77(3), 505-530.
- Forrer, J., Kee, J. E., Newcomer, K. E., & Boyer, E. (2010). Public–private partnerships and the public accountability question. Public Administration Review, 70(3), 475-484.