Download e-book for kindle: Accountability in Public Policy Partnerships by J. Steets

By J. Steets

ISBN-10: 0230238971

ISBN-13: 9780230238978

Governments and overseas corporations more and more use public-private partnerships to carry crucial public items. This book presents a brand new version of responsibility which guarantees that those partnerships do not erode public responsibility. It defines concrete responsibility criteria for various forms of partnerships.

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Sample text

As Robert Behn argued persuasively for accountability in the political sector, this can lead to serious shortcomings in the overall workings of a political system (Behn, 2001). 4 How is accountability created or strengthened? The definition of accountability proposed above contained a description of the basic mechanism through which accountability works. An agent behaves in a certain way. Information about these activities is used by the principal to evaluate the agent’s behaviour. Depending on whether or not the behaviour conforms to the principal’s expectations, she will apply sanctions to control the agent’s activities, thus establishing what could be termed ‘retroactive accountability’.

Take, for example, an advocacy NGO that claims to represent the interests of indigenous people and seeks to stop the construction of a dam on their behalf. The group of indigenous people may actually disagree and try to hold the NGO accountable for its goals. Similarly, citizens hold governments accountable for the goals they pursue by endorsing or rejecting proposed policies in elections. Secondly, accountability for results can refer to the way in which an organisation achieves its aims. The main question here is whether the organisation is efficient in its operations.

313)38 18 Accountability in Public Policy Partnerships Particularly political scientists focusing on democratic accountability have taken up this suggestion and have applied the insights derived from economic analysis to political processes. In many cases they have also adopted the focus on sanctions/incentives and the provision of information. Thus Andreas Schedler defines political accountability as follows: [T]he notion of political accountability carries two basic connotations: answerability, the obligation of public officials to inform about and to explain what they are doing; and enforcement, the capacity of accounting agencies to impose sanctions on powerholders who have violated their public duties.

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Accountability in Public Policy Partnerships by J. Steets

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