English

This article argues that the new institutional arrangements and results or performance based accountability run the risk of overlooking several political realities and considerations. The new arrangements and processes represent a preference for ecc rationality over bureaucratic rationality. They give little consideration to political rationality, which is concerned with collective values and power relationships. In managerial terms, it is not clear that the new arrangements will be any more durable than their numerous predecessors. The accent on performance targets has led to a decline in programme evaluation. It tends to marginalize a number of ethical concerns, reduces the role and scope of citizens, and ignores the conflicts that frequently arise when clients' interests are at odds. Performance management and results based accountability represent a constitutional revolution, but there is little sign that members of parliament are interested or able to make good use of the new management reports. Accountability, at any rate, is a word that should probably be used only for the relationship between a subordinate agency and the authority from which it obtains its mandate and its resources. Accountability also implies a theory of motivation. It is worthwhile considering the strength of motivation for executive agency leaders to conform to what their political masters want from them. Finally, a post-modern look at agency suggests that targets cannot replace attention to public sector ethics.

0
Pages
55-70
File