n Journal of Public Administration - Public sector financial accountability and service delivery




This article examines the link between financial accountability and service delivery. This has become apposite considering alarming ubiquitous service delivery protests in many provinces of the Republic of South Africa. As 2015 the target year for the millennium development goals draws closer a rethink of pragmatic principles that may propel desired service delivery is pertinent. The methodological approach is conceptually rooted in reviews that culminate in suggested policy measures toward accountability and service delivery. The article discovers that service delivery problems are not unique to South Africa but a characteristic dominant in developing nations. The article finds that financial accountability is the of effective service delivery and uncovers a number of factors that may limit accountability and hence service delivery. These include obscured transparency in public financial management limited financial skills capacity political god-fatherism lack of due process in public procurement and public sector corruption. In conclusion the article suggests some policy measures that may improve accountability and service delivery which include among others making the budget process more participatory and transparent; expanding the scope of public audit to go beyond financial numbers to also incorporate an examination of strategic planning processes which overall impact financial management and service delivery. Furthermore it suggests the dire need to revisit pricing or bidding processes of public procurement which constitute a substantial portion of public expenditure. It also suggests that ICT skills capacity building would facilitate effective and efficient management of public financial information to achieve desired transparency accountability and delivery of social services.


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