n Journal of Public Administration - Public sector administrative reforms and accountability : "a marriage of inconvenience"

Volume 42, Issue 7
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



The wave of administrative reforms that has been sweeping through modern governments around the globe brought about serious questions regarding the essence of democratic governance. At the centre of these reform initiatives, some brought about voluntarily while others through compliance with international demands, the emphasis has been the criticisms levelled against administrative capacity and effectiveness of government agencies as the main impediments of accelerated and sustainable service delivery. Advocacy of these reforms is highly reliant on the decentralisation of authority to lower levels of the hierarchical structure, giving public managers more discretionary powers and adoption of entrepreneurial practices with the view to improve the performance of public organisations. On the contrary, while these aspects have been deemed desirable and necessary, issues pertaining to accountability have been accorded the rhetorical centre stage. This article seeks to interrogate whether the accountability arrangements that are advocated by proponents of administrative reforms have the ingredients of democratic ethos.

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