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  Political accountability requires the actions of politicians, or public officials, whether they be administrative, ethical or financial, to be open to inspection, scrutiny and challenge. Political accountability is the hallmark of responsible and representative government. Régimes in which rulers cannot be held to account, either by representatives or by judges, are called arbitrary and authoritarian. In parliamentary systems ministers are held to account through oral and written questions—in some cases through ‘interpellation’, that is, through requiring them to give a detailed response to a question on policy or administration.

Managerial accountability, whether in the public or the private sector, similarly requires that managers be answerable for the tasks which they have contracted to perform, according to agreed standards of competence. Thus financial audits, narrowly construed, ensure that money has been spent as agreed and according to appropriate procedures, whereas efficiency and effective audits investigate whether managers achieve value for money and have developed appropriate programmes to achieve organizational goals. Managers are supposed to be accountable for: expenditure of funds, obeying laws, executing programmes and results. BO\'L

See also administrative theory; democracy.Further reading John S. Mill, Representative Government (1860).



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