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Accountable Governance

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Stimulating Launching Event Calibrating Public Accountability Project

On Thursday February 11th the opening event for the research project Calibrating Public Accountability from Dr. Thomas Schillemans took place. Arno Visser, President of the Dutch National Audit Office, highlighted the societal relevance of accountability research during his keynote speech.

Visser stated that a cloud has been cast on the relationship between tax expenses and accountability. Our tax money is collected on the national level and subsequently distributed to other actors. ‘Accountability’ is often forgotten in this distribution process. Central government for instance allocates tasks and budgets to municipalities, who use these resources according to their own insights and needs. This may result in differences between municipalities. Who, then, is accountable for these differences: national government or local governments? The National Audit Office wants to be able to explain transparently which policies are financed by tax money and whether those policies have been carried out satisfactorily. This is impossible without appropriate accountability mechanisms.

Accountability is a key concept in democratic governance. Prior research is often descriptive and normative. The Calibrating Public Accountability Research project aims to innovate both public accountability research as well as practices of public accountability. In order to do this, the project is anchored in networks of international scholars and (primarily) Dutch public sector organizations. It ultimately aims to make accountability more effective in improving decision-making in various public sector agencies.

CPA-model published in Public Management Review

Out now: Public Management Review has now published the paper Calibrating public sector accountability. The paper develops a theoretical model, based on psychological insights, that can be used to analyze and devise accountability mechanisms for the public sector. The CPA-model is a crucial cog in our quest for calibration: it promises to help policy makers to optimize and improve accountability and governance systems. Click here