Accountability happens after a job is complete. It is obligation of administrator to give satisfactory account of their performance and the manner in which they have exercised powers conferred on them. accountability places four requirements on public administration:

  1. Make laws as intended with minimum waste, delay.
  2. Exercise lawful, sensible administration discretion.
  3. Recommend new policy, reform in old.
  4. Enable citizen confidence in administration.

Responsibility refers to administrations responsiveness to public will, accountability refers to means of enforcing responsibility. Responsibility is subjective, accountability is objective.

Control is performed simultaneously as work is done. Accountability is enforced by means of control. Purpose of control is to ensure that administrator's exercise their powers , discretion within the law. Instruments of administrative control are to safeguard rights, liberties, without curbing power, discretion of public servants.

Means of Control

Legislative control: 

  1. Parliamentary control: Parliament control over administration is through questions, discussions, motions, resolutions, financial control viz audit, budget and through parliamentary committees.
  2. Law making: Parliament makes laws to decide the structure, functions, procedures, powers of administration.
  3. Question hour: MP's can ask questions to ministers and civil servants are required to keep records so answers can be made. Similarly Zero hour, half hour discussions, short duration discussions, calling attention motion, adjournment motion, no confidence motion, censure motion.

Budgetary system: Departments have to get demand for grants approved by the respective departmental committees. The committees have to approve these grants within a time frame before they go to parliament for vote. Parliament can make cut motions to change these.

Audit System: CAG audits all accounts of government entities and submits report to parliament. It highlights improper, illegal, unwise, uneconomical expenditure of government. Thus financial accountability to government is secured.

Committees of Parliament:

  1. Public accounts committee: Examines CAG report on finance and appropriation account.
  2. Estimates committee: Examines budget estimates after parliament voting.
  3. Committee on subordinate legislation: To report if powers of delegated legislation are properly exercised by executive.