This is an excerpt by N. Vittal, a former Central Vigilance Commissioner, Govt. of India. He suggests that a lack of transparency and widespread corruption among other things have caused an accountability crisis, which can be resolved by encouraging competition and embedding accountability at the individual level instead of the organisational level.
Accountability, as mentioned earlier, constitutes the soul of effectiveness and quality of public service. It means responsibility. In the ultimate analysis, it 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 it on organisations does not really make the practice of accountability meaningful. In any analysis 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.
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