Accountability is a fundamental value for any political system. Citizens should have the right to know what actions have been taken in their name, and they should have the means to force corrective actions when government acts in an illegal, immoral, or unjust manner. Individual citizens should have the ability to have some redress when their rights are abused by government or they do not receive the public benefits to which they are entitled.
Accountability is also important for government itself. It provides government with a means of understanding how programs may fail and finding mechanisms that can make programs perform better.
An emphasis on accountability in government is one aspect of the growing emphasis on eliminating corruption and promoting transparency in government (Kaufman 2005). Transparency and openness are necessary, but perhaps not sufficient, to produce accountability in the public sector. If the public sector can maintain secrecy about its actions, there is little chance that political officials or the public will be able to impose effective control over government.
Transparency can be achieved in a number of ways. One of the most important is using performance data that can demonstrate to