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Accountability in the 21st Century
The shift from top-down decision making structures to more collaborative, horizontal, and shared decision making processes is one of the most profound changes government is experiencing in this age of the network.

Indeed, as demands for an innovative public service and integrated, cross-departmental service delivery increase, traditional models of public and political accountability are being challenged. New notions of accountability that are based on results and that account for the sharing of risk and decision making are emerging to take their place.

However, these notions require further thought and elaboration on a variety of fronts. In many ways, they challenge traditional lines of authority and conceptions of ministerial and government accountability.

The KTA Centre for Collaborative Governance, in partnership with Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Environment Canada, Treasury Board Secretariat, the Office of the Auditor General and the Certified General Accountants Association, brought together public service and elected officials in discussion of three emerging areas of government accountablility: Accountability for results; accountability for learning; and shared accountability.

Three reports on each of these areas were produced as a result of KTA’s experienced facilitation and innovative research capacity. Thanks to KTA’s process, public servants, politicians and media shared a safe space were they could have candid and constructive exchanges about the ways government may be held to account in the 21st Century. Read the reports on their thinking here.

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© 2005 Kaufman, Thomas & Associates Inc.