Accountability, according to Webster’s dictionary, refers both to “the quality or state of being accountable” and to “the obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions.”

From those points of view, accountability can be an end in itself as a representation of democratic values and also as a way toward more organizational efficiency. Given the power that politicians and civil servants receive through laws and regulations they bring into practice, the resources they control, and the organizations they manage, accountability represents the way to ensure an appropriate use of that power in accordance with public interests. The concept includes a certainty about who is accountable to whom as well as for what. Moreover, it is necessary to specify that civil servants, ...

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