Notable quote – a definition of ‘accountability’

The term ‘accountability’ is seen as synonymous with governance – although, in truth, it is also a managerial term.

But what exactly is accountability?

According to Jones and Stewart (2008), ‘accountability’ is “the liability to give an account of what one has done, or not done, to another who has authority to assess the account and allocate praise or blame.”

Reference:
Jones, G., Stewart, J., (2009), New development: Accountability in public partnerships – The case of Local Strategic Partnerships, Public Money and Management, January 2009:59-64.

6 Responses to Notable quote – a definition of ‘accountability’

  1. Caroline Oliver says:

    I agree with the first part of this definition but not with the assumption that it is always associated with praise or blame.

    I believe it would be much more helpful to say:
    accountability’ is “the liability to give an account of what one has done, or not done, to another who has authority to assess the account and determine the appropriate response.” The appropriate response can vary hugely depending upon innumerable factors. Linking accountability directly to praise or blame inhibits us from being accountable which inhibits us from achieving our goals.

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