Accountability in the Public Sector

Posted: October 17th, 2013

Accountability in the Public Sector







Accountability in the Public Sector


In the past, little was done in regard to accountability. In the public sector, the officials were not accountable. For this reason, they used to perform their duties as they pleased. In the case, the overall job performance of the organizations is likely to go down. Additionally, many organizations were held liable for the actions taken by the officials. For this reason, government institutions decided to change this policy. The officials were made accountable of any duties or actions they took while performing their duties in the office. Therefore, the human resources department was left with the task of placing accountability for the purposes of improving performance and preventing liability on the part of the organization.


Physical environment

The government institutions held that the officials are accountable for the physical environment. These are the physical resources of the institution. For instance, in the past, the officials were misusing the government institution’s physical resources because they knew that they were not accountable. Furthermore, they always knew that nothing could be done to them. The government institutions saw that they needed to do something to prevent misusing the physical resources (Jeffrey & Walford, 2004). In this situation, all the officials who were working in the public sector were held accountable by the institution of any actions they were taking towards the use of the physical resources.

Physical resources are among the most sensitive areas in the public sector. This is because taxpayer’s money has been used to buy and maintain these physical resources. It would hurt the taxpayer to see the resources that he or she has bought for the purposes of increasing efficiency in the institution being misused (Jeffrey & Walford, 2004). Additionally, it would lead to unethical behavior if officials were to misuse physical resources of the company instead of using them for the right purpose.  This will lead to a heavy out cry on the part of the public. To ensure that the physical resources were used for the right purposes, government institutions held the different officials who are using the resources accountable.

After the institution placed accountability of physical resources to the officials, things started to change. There was a noted improve on the overall performance of the officials. For example, the time spend by these employees to misuse the resources was now shifted to other pressing like performing their duties to the maximum. For instance, the employees of this institution tend to misuse the internet by doing personal activities instead of doing their work (Jeffrey & Walford, 2004). In this case, they are wasting time that they could use for working. For this reason, the institution decides to hold them accountable of the internet whereby they are charged for using it. This reduced time wastage thus increasing the performance if the employees in these institutions.

Finally, accountability of the physical resources of the institution reduced wastage of money improving the image. In the past, when the officials were misusing the physical resources, the institutions were held liable for all the mistakes the officials making regarding the physical resources of the government. In this case, a lot of money was spent of the wastage of these resources. For example, the officials misused the institutions vehicles that were placed on their care by using like family vehicles. The institutions fund the fuel and pay the drivers who drive these vehicles. Therefore, the institutions were suffering hefty expenses. This led them to being held liable for the losses they were making. For this reason, it was decided that the officials holding any physical resources should be held liable. As a result, it has prevented the public institutions from being held liable and at the same time, it has reduced losses due to misuse of resources.

Economical environment

Most of the public sector institutions are responsible for the economy of a country. This is where they set the prices of certain goods, manipulate employees salary thus dictating how the economy of the country. In this case, if the institution decides to misuse their powers the economy of the country can fall down. This is true especially if the government officials manipulate the economy for their own personal gains (Kilgour, 2009). For this fact, certain policies have been created to make the officials of these institutions accountable for every action they take to alter the economy of the country. For instance, the department of finance officials should be held liable for the actions they take when they are creating policies for their own gain yet they will affect the economy of the country.

When the public sector officials are kept liable of the economy for their actions they take, most likely there will be a growth in the economy of the country. This is because they will as much as possible try to avoid being implicated in any economic crisis (Kilgour, 2009). Additionally, in my own experience, when a person held accountable of an activity or an object he or she tends to perform his or her work to the maximum so that he or she cannot be blamed for anything. This experience is similar to when the public officials are held liable for the economy (Kilgour, 2009). In this case, they will tend to perform a better work of growing the economy rather than when they are not accountable. In this case, it is the work of the human resources department to ensure that the policies are followed. As a result, the economy of the country will definitely grow continuously.

Second, holding the officials liable for the actions they take to affect the economy prevents the institution from being held liable. This means that the institutions will not be held liable for the mistakes of other people. In this case, the human resources department has taken upon itself to ensure public officials sign different documents for the purposes of enforcing accountability of their actions. The work of the human resource department ensures that the officials in the public sector do not perform other mischievous behaviors that will affect the economy of the institution and the country. Additionally, the human resource department creates policies for disciplining those employees and officials who violate their accountability towards the economy of the institution and the country. In this case, the institution are not held liable incase of anything and the perpetrator are apprehended.

Social Environment

Social responsibility is one of the many activities institutions and companies are meant to have to show that they care for the communities. In the past, institutions were not accountable for their activities towards the community. Many institutions and companies have been polluting the environment without the consideration of people living in the society. In this case, they were destroying the society instead of building it (Van & Dicke, 2008). For this reason, the human reason saw this as an opportunity to put every body and the public institution accountable to the society so that they can improve efficiency in their job performance. Additionally, placing the institution accountable for the society also improved the institution image largely.

For example, the environmental government agency has been one of the companies that have created policies involving corporate social responsibility to those companies who are polluting the environment. In the past one year, as a government institution, it has social accountability to other institution both public and private, to protect the society from pollution at all costs. In these institutions, the human resources departments have been entrusted with responsibility of ensuring that institutions do not destroy the social environment instead they should provide measures for increasing growth in the community. In this case, the image of the companies has grown drastically increasing the number of customers in the institutions. This has resulted in efficiency of job performance.

To many institutions, accountability of social environment may not be seen as a way to improve efficiency in job performance. In most cases, they think it is a waste of time and money because the society does not help them in any way to increase profitability. What these people forget is that the society is the customers to the institutions (Van & Dicke, 2008). Therefore, there main goal is to serve the community and not the other way round. In my experience, many companies that have accountability to their society, they prevent the chances of being liable to any social problem affecting the community. Additionally, they become efficient because the work they are doing is to serve the society. For this reason, institutions have increased their job performance efficiency in the institutions.

Legal Environment

The public sectors companies have a long time been affected by the legal issues due to their poor performance of work. In this situation, many public companies tend to adhere to their legal obligation of serving the society and enhancing quality products to the society making them susceptible to legal suits. In most cases, when an institution fails to meets its legal obligation, it is taken to court leading to many expenses. Additionally, the company tends to lose the image that it had created losing trust of the community. This drastically changes making the efficiency of the institution to drop leading to a significant amount of losses (Frederickson & Ghere, 2005). Therefore, the human resources department has drafted several laws and regulations for the officials to show their accountability in the legal environment.

In this laws drafted by the human resources department, have led the institutions to prevent liability incase of a legal suit filed against them and yet it was the mistakes made by one of the employees of the institutions. Additionally, they put legal obligations to the officials making them perform quality service in their work. I believe that when a person or an employee is made accountable for his duties and there are legal implications if he or she fails to meet them, he or she is likely to perform the work efficiently and effectively to avoid legal suits that might lead to imprisonment (Frederickson & Ghere, 2005). In this case, laws created by human resource department have a provided conducive environment for performing duties increasing the overall productivity of the company.

Finally, public sector institutions and companies have a role to play to the community. This is because the public fund these public sector institution and companies through taxes. Therefore, these institutions have a legal obligation to play for the sake of those people who are funding them. If they perform their duties unlawfully, they will be going against the constitution law therefore, leading to legal suits (Frederickson & Ghere, 2005). For this reason, human resource departments have been given the duty of providing information to the officials and employees. Additionally, they have been mandate to give officials in the public sector legal accountability so that they can be liable to any unlawful act they perform. In this case, the institutions have prevented from suffering liability performed the officials and employees.


            Accountability can be defined as the process where a person is given responsibility in which he or she answerable if a problem was to occur. In the public sector, it has been established that many officials do not have accountability in their activities while they are performing their duties. For instance, they misuse the physical resources of the government. Secondly, they do not care about the community. Thirdly, they have to perform their legal obligations. Lastly, they have manipulated the economy for their own benefit. This has resulted in poor job performance and institutions being held liable for the other people’s mistakes. This has led the human resource department to create new laws and policies ensuring that the employees and officials are accountable for their mistakes.



Frederickson, H. G., & Ghere, R. K. (2005). Ethics in public management. Armonk, N.Y: M.E. Sharpe.

Jeffrey, B., & Walford, G. (2004). Identity, agency and social institutions in educational ethnography. Amsterdam: Elsevier JAI.

Kilgour, J. (2009). Social Security and the Public Sector: The Windfall Elimination Provision and the Government Pension Offset. Compensation & Benefits Review, 41, 5, 34-42.

Van, W. M., & Dicke, L. A. (2008). Administrative leadership in the public sector. Armonk, N.Y: M.E. Sharpe.


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