1.1 Background of the Study
In contemporary Nigeria, government has ultimately be-come inseparable from the day to day life of the citizens. This is because government is now involved in the over-all social and economic development as against its traditional role of mere maintaining law and order. Unfortunately, the resources at the disposal of governments continue to dwindle, meaning that governments have to re- order her priorities to meet the needs of the society. The implication is that both the civil servants and the political office holders must cooperate to ensure the achievement of sustainable financial and economic development. They must be responsive to the yearnings and aspirations of the people and be held accountable for their actions and inactions.
However, for some times, the influence of the political appointees has made the civil servants to neglect the is-sue of accountability in the work place. The World Development Report (2004) places accountability succinctly at the centre of public reform and public sector deliver. Public accountability measures the degree to which the community can control (hold accountable) the behaviour of public agents through political institutions. Essentially, public accountability mainly regards matters in the public domain, such as the spending of public funds, the exercise of public authorities, or the conduct of public institutions . Generally, the goals of all public accountability measures are to guarantee that public money is spent most judiciously to ensure that the public actually benefits from public finance. There are many dimensions of accountability found in literature. For in-stance, a distinction can be found between accountability and transparency, and between accountability and responsiveness and participation. However, account-ability and controllability may be equated, since an agent is accountable to a principal if the principal can exercise control over the agent . Whatever the dimension from which accountability is seen, the importance is in forcing administrators to trace connections between the past, present and future.
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