Magazine article Public Finance

'Byzantine' Government Confusing Citizens, Warns MP

Magazine article Public Finance

'Byzantine' Government Confusing Citizens, Warns MP

Article excerpt

Governance arrangements in modern societies have become so complex that accountability structures have failed to keep pace and require 'intelligent' reform, a leading backbencher has warned.

Tony Wright, chair of the Commons' respected public administration select committee, told delegates that citizens no longer understood exactly who was responsible for delivering huge swathes of public services.

The situation, he said, had led to a 'vicious circle' in which the public attached responsibility for almost all matters of public policy to the government and ministers were now scared to let go of responsibility for key services.

This 'yawning chasm' in governance arrangements 'is having a profound impact on the relationship between citizens and the government', he argued.

Delivering the inaugural CIPFA/ PricewaterhouseCoopers accountability lecture on June 14, Wright told delegates: 'Modern government - indeed "governance" - has become a gigantic, Byzantine structure. …

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