Accountability as one of the basic values and principles governing public administration in South Africa

21 May 2019

The purpose of this paper is to analyses the importance of accountability in execution of government functions. Accountability refers to the willingness of a person or organisation to clarify the use of all resources received from stakeholders and is one of the aspects of good governance. Section 195 (1) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 provides for the basic values and principles that govern public administration in South Africa. Accountability is one of these basic values and principles provided by section 195 (1) (f) of the Constitution. The administrators in government departments are accountable for allocated budgets, programmes, projects and other public functions to legislatures and they should avoid silo approaches in the execution of their public responsibilities. This is a conceptual paper and it argues that the involvement of various stakeholders in execution of government functions hampers service delivery and catalyses lack of accountability. This paper concludes that an accountability tool is required to assist the citizens to hold public servants and government service providers accountable for their own actions.