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Total Place needs Total Accountability

The Centre for Public Scrutiny has published ‘Accountability Works!’.  This timely publication discusses the future of accountability in the public sector and highlights the need for robust local accountability arrangements to go alongside a reduction in central regulation and inspection.

Some of the resources saved from a reduction in central bureaucracy and regulation must be passed to localities to resource governance and accountability systems and processes effectively, the CfPS argues.

Accountability Works!’ identifies the many different forms of accountability and introduces the concept of a ‘web of accountability’ which supports a more collaborative approach to delivering local services and is a vital counterpoint to new service delivery models such as Total Place. 

The document also highlights:

  • How accountability acts as the third pillar of an effective democracy, along with transparency and involvement
  • The practical impact that effective accountability has on democracy and democratic engagement through case studies on dignity in care, the nationalisation of Northern Rock and strengthening the relationship with the voluntary sector.
  • The practical impact on services being delivered by public sector organisations through case studies covering child poverty, credit unions and young people, policing and crime.

Jessica Crowe, Executive Director at the CfPS, says:
“The need for accountability in the use of public money and delivery of public services is widely accepted but what it means in practice is less well understood. ‘Accountability Works!’ seeks to unpack what we mean by holding to account and what it can achieve for both a stronger democracy and improved public services.

“The ‘web of accountability’ is the missing piece of the jigsaw in current proposals for more devolved and joined-up services and the drive for efficiencies: Total Place needs Total Accountability.”


For more information call Dushana Nathan on 020 7187 7363.
Notes to Editors
A full, and summary, version of ‘Accountability Works!’ can be found here:
Accountability Works!
This document is part of a CfPS national campaign to push the debate on accountability and will be followed up with national and regional events, further research and an Accountability Charter to which public organisations can sign up, to demonstrate their commitment to being held to account.

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