The answerability is existent imperative for the efficient operation of both the populace and private organisations. The brawny size and elaborateness of the authorities and private sector concerns means that the stockholders and the populace can non administrate these establishments. The stockholders and the citizens on their behalf appoint the director who operates the society ‘s establishment and organisations and gives an history of his stewardship. Usually answerability has been identified as “ rendering an history of actions and determinations. ” Therefore, an inefficient answerability leads to extreme corruptness and wastage of all the resources. In an deficient answerability the resources are used fruitlessly and unproductively and frequently the determinations are made either in favor of one individual or a specific group. As a consequence of these determinations the provinces elites would accumulate the wealth at the disbursal of the people.
On the other manus, answerability is comprehensive and is many-sided and makes an history of one party ‘s usage of resources to another party. The New Public Management considers answerability as insufficient. Harmonizing to Hood ( 1995 ) , “ the footing of New Public Management is the lessoning or remotion of differences between the private and public sector and a greater accent on answerability for consequences. These alterations have called forth a alteration of the construct of answerability. ”
However, this survey determines how directors and council members of Sharjah, for public presentation perceive and understand answerability. In recent old ages the local authorities has undergone many alterations out of these alterations many are portion of new public direction ( Kluvers 2001 ) . The local authorities of Sharjah is subjected to command by the State authorities to such an extent that the past authoritiess forced the local 1 ‘s to incorporate every bit good as to replace the appointive commissioners for elective council members.
Accountability, under the new public direction goes beyond rendering an history of the resources used but besides includes the efficient usage of those resources and the effectivity of policy determinations. Under the new public direction the traditional answerability relationship, which includes judiciary duty, stewardship and probity between elected council members and troughs appears to hold less relevancy since troughs are required to be more entrepreneurial, more concerned with public presentation and involved in policy determinations. The relationship appears farther complicated by the undertaking out of a figure of traditional local authorities maps.
Parker and Gould ( 1999 ) province that the new public direction has changed the cardinal orientation of public sector answerability from one of answerability in the populace at big for the many dimensions of public sector activity to one of answerability for fiscal results to be exercised largely within the hierarchy of public sector organisations themselves. Efficaciously, if Parker and Gould are right, so under the new public direction answerability in the populace sector has been reduced in range and significance.
DEFINITION OF ACCOUNTABILITY:
Gray and Jenkins ( 1986 ) are of the position that answerability is an duty to show an history of an reply for the executing of duties to those who entrusted those duties. Accountability relationship occurs in every sector of society, including the commercial sector ; nevertheless, in the populace sector answerability relationships are different. Fountain ( 1991 ) , say that answerability is the footing of Westminster system of authorities because the electorate has the right to be informed about the actions and outgos of the executive and the legislative weaponries of the authorities.
There are a figure of accountability relationships in the populace sector, those between elected functionaries and directors, between elected functionaries and citizens and those between the directors and the citizen. There are similarities with the answerability relationships between managers of a company and stockholders and direction. Public sector organisations are non judged by the net incomes they make or the dividends they declare but on policies that are developed. The cardinal importance of answerability is the maintaining of trust and the possible effects on public disposal of a changed apprehension of the nature of answerability relationships in the populace sector.
Fiscal answerability is concerned with the proviso of fiscal information refering all legal mandates every bit good as committednesss, understandings, burdens, duties, outgos that use any portion of the mandate granted. This reduces the answerability to a contractual relationship with its accent on the fiscal and audit studies, which Glyn ( 1987 ) considers to be unequal. Harmonizing to Rentscheler and Potter ( 1996 ) answerability should non be confined to merely the fiscal. The hazard is that if answerability is seen in pure fiscal footings so the issues of effectivity.
Furthermore, Foster ( 2000 ) is critical of the traditional impression of answerability, “ maintain that it is worsening in effectivity because it is based on historic and forensic gestures of answerability. Accountability is seen in footings of ministerial duty and the sensing of fraud. Among the most of import facets of answerability is the procuring the one-year betterments in the efficient, effectual and economic operation of public services and the other resource devouring activities of authorities. ” Furthermore, Foster argues that “ mensurable aims and accurate public presentation informations linked to wagess will guarantee a robust answerability. This system of answerability would be supported by the handiness of disaggregated fiscal information and frequent value for money audits.
Similarly, Foster ( 2000 ) argues that “ answerability can be best achieved by the usage of contracts trusting on the ability to cut down all answerability relationships to 1s of duty, where there is a principle agent relationship. So long as the contract is clear so the duties under the relationship are besides clear. ” In add-on, it is argued that some relationships can non be accurately defined by a contract and to specify answerability in footings of a contractual relationship limits the apprehension of the construct.
ACCOUNTABILITY AND PERFORMANCE:
On the other manus, Parker and Gould ( 1999 ) , that the New Public Management has changed the cardinal orientation of public sector answerability. The construct of answerability has changed from one of answerability to the populace at big for the many dimensions of public sector activity to one of answerability for fiscal results to be exercised largely within the hierarchy for public sector organisations themselves. Managerial answerability, under the new public direction has expanded its range beyond the traditional administrative answerability, to include the monitoring of inputs, end products and results. The focal point has progressively moved to end products ( Parker and Gould 1999 ) .
However, two major beginnings of tenseness are identified by Parker and Gould ( 1998 ) , foremost, the differing readings of answerability and secondly, the answerability tensenesss between the functions of different stakeholders. Further Bowerman ( 1998 ) states that the “ new public direction focal point upon persons and a peculiar group in society, thereby break uping answerability and cut downing the higher degree answerability to society at big. ”
Hence, the new public direction is achieved at least in rule, by the unseeable manus of the market place, so that if terminal users are dissatisfied with policy or service proviso they will travel elsewhere, go forthing suppliers at a loss. However, merely in genuinely competitory markets does the unseeable manus provide answerability. Ryan ( 2001 ) disputes the premise that the market is an appropriate mechanism in the populace sector. He argues that the relationship between a authorities and its citizens is more complex than a consumer-provider relationship ; Patton ( 1992 ) makes a similar claim.
Another Feature of new public direction is a greater trust on contracts that are underpinned by a chief agent relationship. Broadbent and Guthrie ( 1992 ) highlight the jobs of information dissymmetry and ignorance in the chief agent relationship. Ignorance may originate from information dissymmetry or from the nature of the information itself, for illustration where undertakings are based on tacit instead than explicit cognition. A related issue is the measuring of end products based on indeterminate procedures. Both concealed information and concealed action can be present in complex procedures.
The impression that undertaking can guarantee answerability is farther criticized by Glynn and Murphy ( 1996 ) . Accountability is frequently post hoc answerability for what has happened. Conflict between buyers and suppliers is necessarily created instead than the trust which is indispensable to working in effectual partnerships for the proviso of effectual and high-quality services as there is an review outlook predominating. They conclude that mensurating end product and guaranting answerability for end product is debatable, as many of the benefits of the contract necessarily fall outside an single contractual period.
In order to accomplish answerability for public presentations are comprehensive mission statements, outcome related ends and a description of how these ends will be achieved. However, significant jobs arise in obtaining accurate and dependable informations for measuring over longer clip periods and of the costs associated with making so. There is a enticement to utilize informations for comparings. This may take to the use of public presentation informations devolving into a “ figure game ” and an compulsion with numbering Numberss for questionable intents.
The literature discussed is normative in nature. The writers have constructed their statements from the authorship of others but utilizing small empirical informations. The literature has raised of import issues sing the definition of answerability and the effects for answerability in the populace sector under the new public direction. Premises have been made about accountability relationships in the public sector ; nevertheless, to day of the month these premises have non been tested by research. An exercising is Sinclair ( 1995 ) who reports the interviews of public sector directors. Her research shows that answerability alterations ; it exists in many signifiers and is sustained and given excess dimensions of significance by its context.
Assorted people defined answerability in a figure of ways. Hearers discuss answerability as if it is a fiscal or numerical issue, political scientists view answerability as a political jussive mood and legal bookmans as a constitutional agreement, while philosophers treat answerability as a subset of moralss.
The alterations introduced by the new public direction in the populace sector require a significant alteration to the apprehension of answerability and hence an apprehension of answerability of the participants. The new public direction has broadened accountability beyond traditional concerns to besides include answerability for organisational public presentation. Given the accent on public presentation and the concerns raised in the literature, a figure of inquiries are raised: foremost, how of import is answerability for public presentation? Secondly, which of the stakeholders consider themselves accountable for organisational public presentation, including contracts? Third, does information dissymmetry between stakeholders in respect to public presentation information affect answerability? While the normative literature describes the construct of answerability and the alterations that it has undergone, it remains mostly unsubstantiated by research findings.
The information was collected through a study. The study instrument was developed on the footing of the issues raised in the literature. The questionnaire was submitted to a figure of faculty members and the local authorities of Sharjah. The study instrument consisted of inquiries sing gender, place held and whether the municipality was regional or metropolitan, followed by 40 statements. The respondents were required to bespeak their sentiment by circling a figure on a seven-point licker graduated table bespeaking the followers:
Very strongly hold
Very strongly differ
However, for easiness of presentation of the consequences of the cross-tabulations “ strongly disagree ” was collapsed into “ disagree ” and “ strongly agree ” was collapsed into “ agree ” ; in the tabular arraies these are denoted utilizing 1 for “ agree ” 2 for “ open ” and 3 for “ disagree ” .
Each of Sharjah ‘s towns and metropoliss were sent two envelopes incorporating 10 study instruments and 10 postpaid return envelopes each ; one set was for council members and the other for tier one and two directors. A covering missive accompanied each set, one addressed to the swayer of Sharjah, Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al-Qasimi III and the other addressed to the main executive officer.
The chief intent of the research was to set up a construct of answerability that has been accepted by directors and council members in Sharjah ‘s local authorities. The demand to turn to the big figure of issues and the desire for the greatest possible coverage conditioned the pick of research method. The more extended the coverage of the Sharjah authorities, the larger the expected figure of responses ; this would let decisions to be drawn with greater assurance.
Local authorities was besides selected as the environment in which to carry on the research as it is characterized by diverseness ; in geographic size and location ; population size ; its ability to raise gross ; and in the size and composing of its outgo. Given the degree of diverseness, the findings should be applicable to other contexts. Besides, there had been important development of the new public direction in the local authorities of Sharjah.
The analysis for this paper is based on 330 functional responses. Respondents strongly agreed with the statement that over the last decennary answerability for public presentation has become progressively of import. Most respondents agreed that their council was utilizing a really good set of public presentation has become progressively of import. Most respondents agreed that their council was utilizing a really good set of public presentation indexs that showed whether aims had been achieved. However, they rejected the proposition that if a council operates expeditiously so it has met all its answerability duties.
Respondents agreed that council members, directors and suppliers were responsible for the degree of public presentation under contracts. There was besides understanding with the propositions that public presentation audits have or should be conducted by external hearers.
There was strong dissension with the proposition that director can non be held accountable for the public presentation since council members provide the resources. The impression that public presentation informations can non be used to keep directors accountable because they can non capture every facet of public presentation was rejected. Respondents disagreed with the statement that rate remunerators are non interested in public presentation information. While 165 respondents rejected the statement that council members do non understand public presentation informations presented to them by direction, 120 agreed with the proposition and 44 were undecided. There was a similar response to the statement that direction determines what public presentation is to be measured and how it is to be measured: 159 agreed, 133 disagreed and 36 respondents were open.
On the other manus, answerability for public presentation is considered by respondents to be really of import. Harmonizing to the respondents, directors, council members and suppliers are considered to be responsible for organisational public presentation and contractual public presentation. The response to statement that council members do non understand the public presentation informations presented to them by direction is equivocal with 120 holding, 165 disagreeing and 44 open.
Similarly, in the belief that answerability for public presentation has become progressively critical and the rejection of the thought that ratepayers are non interested in public presentation information. A big bulk of respondents accepted the former while rejecting the latter. The belief that ratepayers are interested in public presentation information reinforces the impression that answerability for public presentation has become progressively of import.
The thought that ratepayers are interested in public presentation information is besides associated with the rejection of the statement that public presentation informations can non be used to keep directors accountable. The bulk of respondents rejected both statements. The association between the two statements is statistically important.
The importance of answerability informations the respondents agreed with the statements that councils have public presentation audits conducted by external hearers and that the respondent ‘s council was utilizing a good set of public presentation indexs. The bulk of respondents agreed that council members, directors and suppliers are responsible for the public presentation of contracts.
A important minority believe that council members do non understand the public presentation informations presented to them by direction and a bulk of respondents do hold with the proposition that direction determines what is to be measured and how it is to be measured.
On the other manus, 86.5 per centum respondents disagreed with the proposition that under competitory tendering local authorities directors can non be held accountable for the public presentation of contracts. However, there is statistically important association with the statement that the chief agent relationship can falsify the construct of answerability. Therefore, while the respondents recognize that directors are accountable for the public presentation of contracts they besides reported an consciousness of the negative impact of the chief agent relationship that directors find themselves in.
A big bulk of respondent ‘s agree with the statement that public sector directors have conflicting answerability relationships, while there is less clear consequence for the proposition that direction determines what public presentation is to be measured and how it is to be measured. The two statements have a statistically important association. Directors are perceived to be I equivocal state of affairs in regard to who they are accountable to and the grade of control they have over public presentation.
The association between the statements that the grade of answerability will depend upon the comparative power of the stakeholders and public presentation informations can non be used to keep directors accountable. A bulk of respondents disagreed with the proposition that directors could non be held responsible for public presentation measuring is unequal ; sentiments were divided about the function of power in answerability. While respondents believe that directors are accountable for public presentation about 48 per centum agreed that the grade of answerability is dependent upon the directors relative to other stakeholders. Respondents strongly disagreed with the statement that under competitory tend local authorities directors can non be accountable for the public presentation of contracts.
The consequences answered the three inquiries posed in this paper. Accountability for public presentation is considered to be of import. This consequence is in maintaining with Parker and Gould ( 1999 ) , who argue that new public direction has broadened the range of answerability.
The consequences besides provide replies to which of the stakeholders are considered to be accountable for organisational and contractual public presentation. The reply to that appears to be that council members, directors and suppliers in the instance of contracts are considered accountable for public presentation. This reflects the doctrine of the new public direction and would look to reflect the construct of answerability argued by Foster ( 2000 ) . However, Foster does non take the chief agent relationship into history, or the function of power and information dissymmetry. The issues raised by Broadbent about chief agent relationship are relevant. Respondents have small trouble understanding the construct of answerability. However, the issues of power and information dissymmetry appear to measure up this apprehension.
Lovell ‘s ( 1996 ) concern about comparing answerability with audit is left unsolved since the direct inquiry was non posed, but respondents reported that audits are or should be conducted and there is an credence of the veracity of public presentation information. While answerability may non be equated with audit there is a general credence of public presentation measuring as an built-in portion of an answerability system. However, the debatable nature of answerability for public presentation is reinforced if it is seen to be reduced to the proviso of public presentation information.
Given the importance of answerability for public presentation the issues of information dissymmetry and the unity of the information are relevant. Patton 1992 ) has already expressed concern about the unity of public presentation information. Glynn and Murphy ( 1996 ) have argued that the measuring of end product is debatable. The respondents reported that the chief agent relationship could falsify answerability that the power of stakeholders could impact the grade of answerability and the direction had a important influence over the measuring of public presentation.
The new public direction has broadened the construct of answerability to include answerability of public presentation and the accent that has been laid on public presentation is recognized by the directors and council members in the local authorities of Sharjah. The issues raised in the literature are reflected in the information. The consequences show that the answerability for public presentation is considered to be critical in the local authorities and troughs and council members are both responsible for it.
However, the underlying jobs related to information dissymmetry and answerability relationships, capable to power, have an impact on the operation of answerability. Therefore, keeping answerability requires steps that cut down dissymmetry, clear up answerability relationships and counter balance the influence of power. Such steps might include a greater accent on communal answerability based on participative decision-making, greater usage of qualitative public presentation. Finally, the findings presented in Kloot ( 2001 ) point to the deficiency of public presentation marks in the local authorities of Sharjah corporate programs which makes the finding of public presentation betterment problematic. The development of public presentation marks, accepted by all stakeholders, would take to the sweetening of answerability public presentation.