Transparency and Accountability

Relationship between the transparency and accountability:

  • Usually, transparency is considered as a pre-requisite of accountability as well. This is because for an action to be evaluated properly there should be access to all necessary information. If the access is denied, then accountability cannot be proven.
  • Accountability and transparency can take different forms, and the relationship between them depends on the extent to which they are designed to support each other.
  • Both transparency and accountability are viewed as necessary conditions for good management. This applies in a large variety of settings starting from the individual to organizations.
  • In general, it is assumed that the existence of transparency would result in better governance, more accountability and less corruption
  • In public services both transparency and accountability are must to ensure good governance. It is evident that transparency is a pre-condition of accountability.
  • There is a direct link between transparency and accountability, and both strengthen each other.
  • Thus accountability must accompany transparency as if a civil servant is not accountable for his decisions, transparency would not fulfil the purpose.

Importance of accountability with transparency:

  • Accountability lead to the obligation of an individual or an organisation (either in the public or the private sectors) to accept responsibility for their activities, and to disclose them in a transparent manner. This includes the responsibility for decision-making processes, money or other entrusted property.
  • Accountability result in answerability (the duty of an individual or organisation to answer to their decisions and actions) and punishments in case of malpractice.
  • If citizens are to hold their government accountable, they must be able to find out what it is doing.
  • High levels of corruption and poor quality of public services, especially in developing countries, enhanced the demand for accountability from the civil society.
  • Social accountability has been highly valued to curb corruption, especially in countries with a systematic problem of corruption and weak institutional systems.