[Solved] What does ‘accountability’ mean in the context of public service? What measures can be adopted to ensure individual and collective accountability of public servants?

Accountability is the obligation of those holding power to take responsibility and be held answerable for their behavior and actions.

Actions to ensure public officials’ individual and collective accountability

  • Improve transparency about the viability of large projects: Make use of technology to digitize information relevant to important projects and set project deadlines.
  • Clarify what citizens get for their money in terms of public services: Strengthen the citizen charter in each major department, and make the use of money received by each department and how they are spent visible every year.
  • Reward for exceptional work and review for failures: Promotion should be based on outstanding performance rather than seniority. Failures to meet objectives must also be considered.
  • Mandatory Social Auditing: States such as Meghalaya have passed social audit laws, which should be expanded across the country. India
  • Instill a code of ethics in civil officials that is consistent with the code of conduct.
  • Defined roles and responsibilities, with corresponding authority and resources: There must be a clear basis for assigning certain responsibilities and activities to different levels of the system. Second, the delegation of duties and responsibilities must be complemented by the delegation of resources to enable officials to carry out their tasks. 

Accountability is very necessary to weed out corruption and ensure the lives of citizens are improved.

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