Mike Yuille 23 April 2018

Report scathing on public sector accountability

Report scathing on public sector accountability image

Britain’s system of public sector accountability is failing to keep up with the realities of modern government, a think-tank has warned.

In a report published this week, the Institute for Government (IfG) cautioned that ‘weak accountability increases the risk of failure of public services – whether through financial mismanagement, chronic underperformance or the collapse of services’.

The report found patterns of failure occurring repeatedly.

Typically, this involved ministers and civil servants blaming each other when things go wrong, limiting the chances of lessons being learned.

Examples of this include the rollout of Universal Credit and, most recently, the Grenfell Tower blaze and Windrush immigration scandal.

Even when ministers are clearly at fault, many are not held to account, the think-tank said.

IfG researcher, Benoit Guerin, said: ‘A lack of accountability is worrying because it increases the risk of failure and decreases legitimacy of the state in the eyes of the public.’

It’s now or never for modern democracy image

It’s now or never for modern democracy

The electoral landscape is now ‘more crowded than ever’, while council resources have been ground down, says Laura Lock – and she warns that professionals do not have limitless capacity.
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