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Records and Accountability

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  1. Records and Accountability Presentation made by Sahr J. Kpundeh World Bank Institute

  2. SIGNIFICANCE OF RECORDS • Rule of Law--legislative, court, police, prison records • Accountability -- accounting, procurement, tax, customs, electoral, policy and case files • Management of State resources--budget papers, accounting, payroll, personnel and procurement records

  3. RECORDS (Cont’d.) • Protection of Entitlements--pension, social security, land registration, birth and death records • Service for citizens--hospital and school records • International Relations-- treaties, correspondence with national and international bodies, loan agreements

  4. DEFINITION • Accountability is defined as the obligation and/or responsibility of anyone handling resources, public office, power of decision or any position of trust, to report on the way it has been exercised.

  5. Preventing corruption Economic accountability Political accountability Administrative accountability Records

  6. POLITICAL ACCOUNTABILITY • Defined as the obligation of elected public officials to: show accountability to the electorate--both constituency and public at large; to the constitution and the rule of law; to the institutions to which they have been elected; to the electoral commission or similar body; and to the political organisation which the official represent.

  7. TOOLS • Political accountability is manifested through: -- elections and electoral reforms -- access to official information—freedom of information -- decentralization—involving people at local levels -- strengthened and vibrant civil society -- sustained political will

  8. FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY • Defined as the obligation and/or responsibility of anyone handling resources to report honestly and comprehensively on the intended and actual use of the resources.

  9. TOOLS • Economic accountability is manifested through: -- records management -- accounting -- external auditing for the expenditure of public funds.

  10. ADMINISTRATIVE ACCOUNTABILITY • Defined as the obligation of persons holding positions of power to inform/advise those with particular interest in the subject matter on why a particular decision has been made; -- to cooperate fully with relevant mechanisms of accountability within the society -- to ensure there is free availability of information, and the public is kept generally informed of the policies and practices for which they are responsible.

  11. TOOLS • Administrative accountability is manifested by creating an enabling environment for the management and administration of public programs and services through: -- institutional development and reform -- developing administrative guidelines such as codes of conduct, complaints procedures, and performance indicators -- sharing best practices

  12. CHALLENGES • Monitoring the use of records • Freedom of Information • Culture of Secrecy • Formal rules in society • Budget Tracking and Expenditure • Accountability in decision-making