Budgeting and Forecasting, Financial Foundations Framework

The Accountability Trap

Research Report

Local governments are faced with big challenges and are increasingly asked to address hard problems such as climate change, social inequalities and drug abuse. Addressing these problems may require considerable expenditure of public resources. Given the high stakes of the issues at hand and the potentially large sums of money involved, there can be a justifiable interest from elected officials and the public that the government (and its staff) be held “accountable.”


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