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By: Priscela B.

Verzonilla (MPA class 3)

ON ACCOUNTABILITY OF PUBLIC OFFICERS Public office is a public trust. Public officers and employees must, at all times, be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency; act with patriotism and justice and lead modest lives.
- Philippine Constitution 1987, Artile XI, Sec 1

We are laying down the foundations for a brighter future for the poor.
- Pres. Aquino (in his latest SONA)

The obligation of power-holders to account for or take responsibility for their actions in both their conduct (by obeying the rules and not abuse their power) and their performance (by serving the public interest in an efficient, effective, and fair manner) Power-holders are those who hold political, financial or other forms of power

In an article on Culture of Accountability, this Hierarchy of Accountability caught the researchers attention, described as a sort of new framework for an organization to be considered highly accountable. Within each factor as illustrated, there are a number of levels reflecting an organizations evolution from basic to more complex cultures of accountability. At the two lowest levels, accountability is seen merely as an obligation that must be met. But as accountability becomes more deeply embedded in the culture, there is the recognition that the policies and processes must not only be in place, but there must be evidence that they are being effectively used and lead to clear accountability outcomes. When accountability is fully embedded in the culture, it results in a transformation of the organization.

Administrative Accountability

refers to the extent to which appointed officials are made answerable for the responsible, efficient and effective performance of their official tasks while administrators are accountable for their stewardship of the administrative authority, resources and knowledge placed at their disposal as trustees of the public.. the accountability of public institutions to collectively answer for their institutional mandates, particularly as they form part of the incumbent governments development goals. National leadership, specifically elected national officials, must answer for their performance in pursuing their avowed program of government and their use of national resources, given the authority and resources vested in them. characterized by the existence of a set of norms and practices of a technical or professional nature that govern the behavior and performance of members of a certain profession. entails the existence of a direct relationship between public administration and the society.

Political Accountability -

Professional Accountability Democratic Accountability

P O L I T I C A L

PEOPL E
hold accountable Answers to

Elect

Submit for judgment

P O L I T I C A L

A C C O U N T A B I L I T Y

ELECTED OFFICIALS --------------------------------------------A . EXECUTIVE B LEGISLATIVE

Appoint, provide support

Answers to

Report on public programs

A C C O U N T A B I L I T Y

APPOINTED OFFICIALS/EMPLOYEES --------------------------------------------A D M I N I S T R A T I V E

A CO-TERMINUS/NON-CAREER B CAREER Hold accountable for efficient/ responsive services

Provide services and

Other public goods to the

PEOPL E

A D M I N I S T R A T I V E

Four standard questions are central to accountability: (1) Who is considered accountable? (2) To whom is he accountable? (3) To what standards or values is he accountable? (4) By what means is he made accountable?

Four (4) different levels of administrative accountabiliy: (i) Traditional accountability, which focuses on the regularity of fiscal transaction and faithful compliance as well as the adherence to legal requirements and administrative policies; (ii) Managerial accountability, which is concerned with efficiency and economy in the use of funds, property, manpower, and other resources; (iii) Program accountability, which pays attention to the results of government operations; and (iv) Process accountability, which emphasizes procedures and methods of operations.

Knowledge of expected roles - this means that the people in position of authority should be knowledgeable enough on their schedule of duty and How to discharge it satisfactorily. Performance of what is expected - this has to do with individual employee discharging his/her duties in accordance with the ethics of such service or the profession.

Owning up to lapses and failures - this means that the government should always accept responsibilities for their actions or inaction as against unnecessary bulk passing.
Prudence in the application of resources - this connotes the application of the least cost option to obtain maximum output. Effective communication channels - by this, the government is expected to put in place all necessary machineries to ensure adequate and timely information dissemination to all manners of citizenry while guarding against any foreseeable information lag.

Sympathy and empathy for the public - this deals with a situation in which those in positions of authority are expected to show a sense of feeling to the ruled (the populace) by identifying with their problems. Quick response to both positive and negative signals - this has to do with timely response of the people in position of authority to all necessary situations affecting the governed without bias.

Ability and willingness to learn from mistakes - this is to say that the government should imbibe the spirit of listening to the voice of wisdom as against the know-all posture with its autocratic tendencies.
Openness to public scrutiny - this is to say that there should be transparency in all dealings, coupled with readiness to explain all courses of action at any point in time. Timely release of reliable information - this is to say that government officials should always ensure that all forms of information be it financial or otherwise, must be made available timely when due while ensuring its accuracy and adequacy to satisfy the purpose for which it is required.

Involvement of beneficiaries in decision making - this is not to say that all stakeholders should be present before decisions are made but rather, that the opinions of a cross-section of such stakeholders must be sought to allow for a well-informed and generally accepted decision to be made. Proper and timely documentation - this deals with ensuring that all important activities and events are put on relevant records and securely safeguarded for future reference when required.

THE GOVERNANCE CRISIS: The service delivery problem Poor Access to Public Services (services do not benefit the poorest) Inefficiency

Indifference, Collusion with Vested Groups Non Responsiveness Rampant Corruption, Extortion by Agents & Middlemen Weak Accountability

Loose Systems & Weak Integrity Abuse of discretion

Budget Allocation Problem Governments spend on the wrong goods and people Expenditure Tracking Problem Resources fail to reach service providers or users Problem of Monitoring/Accountability Weak incentives for effective service delivery Problem of Participation/Awareness Demand-side constraints

From Coping to VOICES by Citizens

From Shouting to Counting quantify voice and feedback From Reaction to Informed Action From Episodic to Organized Action From Confrontational to Win-Win situations

As can be gleaned in the framework for ensuring accountability of the Philippine Public Service

Promote responsible, efficient people-/and service-oriented public officials

Reward good behavior

Prevent Corruption 1 2 3 Tanodbayan/Ombudsman Internal Agency Efforts External Links with a Client/public b Other govt. agencies c Press/other non-governmental institutions Peoples Organizations

Serve the People President and Cabinet Department Secretaries/ Bureaucracy Legislative Bodies Judicial System All elective national and local officials Independent Constitutional Bodies Military service 1 2 3 4

Punish Corruption Tanodbayan/Ombudsman Sandiganbayan Internal Agency Efforts External Links with a Client/public b Other govt. agencies c Press/other non-governmental institutions 5. Investigating Agencies Police, NBI, etc 6. Peoples Organizations

support

support

Reports

Hold accountable Press Educational Institution Church People/Organized Groups Inndividual Filipinos

Acting in line with your organizational values


Stop, in the name of the law! is something you hear a lot in the movies(hopefully not personally). When the police officer acts in the name of the law, he gets delegated authority from the law, and he represents the law.
Similarly when your team acts, they represent your organization. How would you know whether they acted in accordance to the values of your organization unless they constantly update you and take your feedback? Imagine the police officer committing a crime in the name of the law! A member that acts in violation to the values of the organization can no longer represent the organization. Therefore, you must constantly check on and ensure that your team members are acting in line with your organizational values.

Acting in line with your organizational vision A good organization has vision; a direction that it is moving together corporately, be it conquering productivity to grooming youth leaders and so on.
Sometimes newer members to the organization or team may not understand the organizational vision. The only way you can know about it legitimately is to ask them to account for their actions. You must then check them on the areas they have deviated, and reward them in the areas they have done in line with the vision.

Integrity Accountability issues can be as simple as letting you know that they will not coming for a particular meeting or event because of a certain reason. It is a matter of integrity as well. Your word is your bond. If something happens that causes you to be unable to perform a task or be at a certain place, you have to let the relevant people know because they have expected you otherwise to keep your word!

It is very evident and true that accountability must be embedded in the culture at all levels, and influence the way an organization is governed and managed, forms relationships and engages its stakeholders. Todays trend of changing social mores and the explosion of new information and communication technologies (which is also allowing for a rapid, global diffusion of ideas and practices) enables the public to demand higher standards of ethics, transparency and accountability in the public sector. These pre-requisite values of good governance and sustainable development not only buttress responsive public policy and high levels of public sector performance but also play a crucial role in preventing the onset of systemic corruption. What is important however is to CONTINUE TO CREATE A CULTURE OF DISCIPLINE AND ACCOUNTABILITY, which has to come from the TOP. For if the boss holds himself accountable for RESULTS, the foundation is laid to a sort of disciplined culture of accountability down through the organization at all levels and functions.