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Public Accountability Defination

Public accountability is the obligation placed on public authorities to account for what has been done (or not done) with the resources entrusted to their care as a result of a responsibility they have been given.

Meaning of Public Accountability

Public Accountability is a requirement for public authorities to be accountable for the results (or lack thereof) of the resource entrusted to their care due to a responsibility bestowed on them.

Public accountability ensures that public officials’ actions and decisions are subject to oversight in order to ensure that government initiatives achieve their stated objectives and address the needs of the citizens they are intended to serve, thereby contributing to improved governance and poverty reduction.

In general, accountability arises when an individual’s or organization’s performance is subject to the oversight, direction, or request of another person or organization that provides information or justifies their actions.

What is Accountability in public Administration

Public accountability in public administration refers to the obligation imposed on public authorities to account for what they have done (or not done) with the resources entrusted to their care as a result of a given responsibility.

Financial Accountability in the Public Sector

Accountability is the obligation to give answers and explanations concerning one’s action to those with a right to require, or those with a reasonable expectation of receiving such answers and explanations.

Financial Accountability in the Public Sector basically means that those who are charged with carrying out public policies using public resources should be obliged to give an explanation of their action to their electorate; who may be a composite of interest groups of individuals as well as institutions.

Reasons for Accountability

Financial accountability is necessary because the financial resources used by the Executive in the Public Sector organizations are either collected from citizens or contracted on their behalf by the Executive.

there are also number of public accountability importants that we will also cover in this guide


This creates an accountability relationship with the government being responsible to account for the use of these revenues. It requires Governments to answers to the citizenry to justify the raising of public resources and the purpose for which they are used.

This point is emphasized by Aristotle when he said “to protect the Treasury from being defrauded, let all public money be issued openly in front of the whole city, and let copies of the accounts be deposited in the various wards”. The implication of this is the need for transparency and financial accountability in the use of public finances.


Such accountability can be ensured through the institution of proper government accounting systems to ensure proper accountability of all manner of public financial resources.

Mechanisms for Ensuring Public Accountability

• Disclosure
Making information available to stakeholders;
• Organizational Structure
Defines clearly the authority and responsibilities of individual officeholders;
• Reporting
Provision of financial, administrative and other relevant- entity reports to
government and other stakeholders;
• Transparency
Making information available at no or no cost openness to stakeholders
• Predictability
Adherence to law and regulation that are clear and known in advance,
uniformity and effectively enforced


Here provide you with the reasons why is accountability importance in public sector and you ae will be able to also:

State and explain five importance of public accountability

Accountability forms the cornerstone of public service.Its importance is as follows:

1. Ethical compliance:
It ensures that requisite ethical standards are followed.

2. Optimum Utilization of resources:
It ensures that resources are optimally utilized – greater good for greatest number – utilitarian principle is followed

3. Transparency:
Accountability helps in showcasing the transparency of the actions of the individual/organisation for the public.

How accountability can be fixed in public service?

4.Checks and balances:
Procedures to be followed should have appropriate checks and balances to ensure that there is accountability. Timely and rigorous audit can help in achieving it.

5. Reducing discretion
System should be made more objective by minimizing the discretionary power of individuals.

6.Rewarding ethical and punishing unethical
Ethical public servants should be rewarded while non- ethical ones should be penalized.

As the quote ” Justice should not only be done, it should be seen to be done”. Accountability becomes the vehicle by which the public service can earn and retrieve the faith of the public in it.


The Concept of Financial Control

Another means of ensuring proper accountability is through proper control of resources, that is the control of both public revenues and expenditures. The performance indicators that will be required in the control process include income, expenditure, commitments, and budgets.

Revenues Control generally involves the process of ensuring that all revenues of Government that are generated in any form are paid into the main account of the Government, i.e. the Consolidated Fund.

The various revenue collection agencies of the Government are directed to ensure that revenues generated are logged in to specific accounts for onward transfer into the Government accounts with the Bank of Ghana.

Benefits of Financial Control

• It gives a clear indication of responsibilities.

• It reflects the current position of an organization.

• It presents information that can be easily assimilated and understood.

• It allows comparability of budgets with income and expenditure.

outline four importance of public accountability

Accountability is a pillar of public service. It is Importance for the following reasons:

  1. Compliance with ethical standards:
  2. Optimal resource utilization:
  3. Objectivity:
  4. Balances and checks:
Eric Adjei

Eric Adjei

A professional with six (8) years’ experience in finance and accounting. Demonstrating expertise in accounting procedures, computerized accounting system management and financial operations. Financially astute with excellent analytical, problem solving, management, people supervision, organizational, business administration, operation and commercial management and teaching skills.

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