by Dr Ayokunle James Adeyemi
Accountability in the public sector refers to how much people, stakeholders, or oversight bodies may hold public officials and Institutions accountable for their deeds and decisions.
Providing public services, managing public resources, and guaranteeing good governance all depend on it. But because it involves several people, methods, and difficulties, achieving public sector accountability is not always simple.
Financial accountability in the public sector basically means that those responsible for enforcing public policies and using public funds should be required to explain their actions to their electorate, which may be made up of a variety of interest groups of both individuals and institutions.
These interest groups will undoubtedly take part in the assessment of the successes and flaws of public sector accountability. Accordingly, the purpose of public money is to provide social advantages to the people who contributed to it.
The public administrator must provide a clear account of what they did with public funds if they hope to complete their term in office without being accused of misusing government resources. Keep in mind that people may refuse to pay taxes if they are not properly informed about what was done with their money.
Public sector accountability can be understood through the following dimensions; vertical, horizontal, diagonal, and internal accountability, each involving various actors and mechanisms as explained below.
Vertical accountability: This is when public officials and institutions are held accountable by the public, who can do so through participating in civic life.
Horizontal accountability: This is the accountability of institutions and public officials to one another at the same level or branch of government, who are subject to checks and balances.
Diagonal accountability: This is when non-state actors, including media or civil society organizations, hold public officials and institutions accountable through
Internal accountability: This refers to the situation in which institutions and public officials are responsible to themselves and can self-regulate or control their performance based on their own standards or ideals.
To improve accountability in the public sector, the introduction of Data Mining, BigData, Blockchain and Forensic Auditing can significantly strengthen the fight against corruption.
These tools will allow the government to identify fraudulent behaviors and activities. The political system must lean toward decreasing corruption in order to assure the approval and implementation of such policies.
Regularly releasing the government’s official financial statements to allow the public to examine the government’s financial situation. Consequently, ministers must have a considerably greater understanding of finance and be held more responsible as the public grows more alert to the potential financial consequences of government policies. Governments need to be aware of how to bring about effective change in the medium term.
I’m arguing that Nigerians have a very negative outlook on public sector accounting.
People continue to live in abject poverty as a result of the previous corrupt government’s disregard for the wellbeing of the individual.
Finally, I recommended that, the Nigeria government must ensure that all politicians declare their assets before assuming office. Their assets are again assessed on the completion of offices by the politicians. All banks that kept ill-gotten wealth should be blacklisted and their operating license withdrawn.
External auditors should be appointed to audit and publish all government account. Internal auditors should be made to report directly to the government