Q7. Accountability in Public Service

Q7. What does ‘accountability’ mean in the context of public service? What measures can be adopted to ensure individual and collective accountability of public servants? (150 words)
Accountability means the obligation of an individual or organisation to account for its activities, accept responsibility for them and to disclose the results in a transparent manner. It also includes the responsibility for money or other entrusted property.
A public servant is accountable to his superior officers, other government agencies like internal auditors and other institutions, like the CBI, CAG and CIC. The officers are also accountable to the courts and the people for legality of their actions. The ministers are similarly accountable to Chief Ministers or the Prime Minister, and to the public.
In order to enhance accountability, government officers must follow rules and procedures, and allow their actions to be subjected to scrutiny by the public, judiciary or other government agencies. The RTI Act, PIL and media should be used more extensively. The individual officials must be penalised for misusing their powers. The government organisations must also be penalised for the harm suffered by the citizens due to the acts of their officers. (165 words)
Q7. Accountability in Public Service
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