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Public Accountability in Differing Governance Situations: Challenges and Options


  • M Adil Khan
  • Numayr Chowdhury


Building strong capacities in public accountability is key to controlling malfeasance in public expenditure. Even though most public entities in most countries are legally obligated to report on public expenditure and to detect incidences of malfeasance, differing governance arrangements regarding political democracy, the rule of law and civil liberties indicate differences in the priority given to, and in the results obtained through, public accountability initiatives, including those of the supreme audit institutions (SAIs). This article demonstrates how variations in governance enablers in different regions of the world produce differing results. It argues that on their own and without necessary investments in democracy and the rule of law, investments in accountability measures, including those of the SAIs, will not produce desired outcomes and thus will have little or no impact on the control of corruption. It also cites selected successful cases of civil society participation in the auditing of government programmes.

Suggested Citation

  • M Adil Khan & Numayr Chowdhury, 2008. "Public Accountability in Differing Governance Situations: Challenges and Options," Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(1), pages 15-28, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:rapaxx:v:30:y:2008:i:1:p:15-28
    DOI: 10.1080/23276665.2008.10779340

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