Information and Institutions of Government Accountability

Information and Institutions of Government Accountability

by Leonard Warren Cook, Robert David Hughes

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Overview

The New Zealand form of the Westminster democracy enables quick responses when required; but flexibility comes at a cost – a weak ability to hold the government to account for its actions.

New Zealand’s small population size and limited resources mean that government is the main provider of information on its social, economic and environmental performance. The information that is provided is strongest at showing financial performance. In other areas of importance, the administration can collect and release information on important issues in a way that most favourably portrays its achievements.

Information and Institutions of Government Accountability scrutinises the consequences of poor government accountability and the costs this imposes on some it its citizens. Citizens have successfully challenged government and instituted new information sources with improved outcomes for these people.

Drawing on examples of past failures of government towards its citizens, Information and Institutions of Government Accountability presents the case for improved accountability. It concludes with a description of a new institutional structure needed to oversee the provision of trustworthy information.

The New Zealand form of the Westminster democracy enables quick responses when required; but flexibility comes at a cost – a weak ability to hold the government to account for its actions.

New Zealand’s small population size and limited resources mean that government is the main provider of information on its social, economic and environmental performance. The information that is provided is strongest at showing financial performance. In other areas of importance, the administration can collect and release information on important issues in a way that most favourably portrays its achievements.

Information and Institutions of Government Accountability scrutinises the consequences of poor government accountability and the costs this imposes on some it its citizens. Citizens have successfully challenged government and instituted new information sources with improved outcomes for these people.

Drawing on examples of past failures of government towards its citizens, Information and Institutions of Government Accountability presents the case for improved accountability. It concludes with a description of a new institutional structure needed to oversee the provision of trustworthy information.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780473438937
Publisher: Hughes Consulting Limited
Publication date: 10/02/2018
Series: Information of Government
Edition description: Alpha ed.
Pages: 120
Product dimensions: 5.83(w) x 8.27(h) x 0.25(d)

About the Author

Len Cook has had an extensive career in official statistics as New Zealand's Government
Statistician from 1992 to 2000 and then National Statistician of the United Kingdom until 2005.
Until recently he was Chair of the Board of the Social Policy Research and Evaluation Unit, and is currently a member of the Remuneration Authority.
He is a regular contributor on matters of public administration, official statistics and population related issues.
This wide-ranging experience has equipped Len well to engage in the challenge of the information age as it affects all aspects of public administration, from political life, public sector leadership, the place of science in government and the relationship of the State with its citizens.

Robert Hughes has more than 25 years of experience as a strategic management consultant.
He is principal of the consulting firm Hughes Consulting Limited and former partner in the multinational business advisory firm KPMG. Hughes Consulting counsel significant organisations in the private and public sectors. Robert holds a Doctorate and professional credentials as a: Management Consultant, Information Technology Professional, Engineer, and Manager.
Robert brings experience in information, communications, logistics and infrastructure networks which contribute to, and in turn are affected by the digital economy. The State has an important role in shaping these interactions and their consequences for its citizens.

Table of Contents

Introduction

ONE: The New Zealand form of the Westminster constitutional system

TWO: Mechanisms to hold government to account

THREE: Impact of changes in velocity of circulation of information and network processes

FOUR: Increasing uncertainty and impact of conjecture

FIVE: Information as part of the system of government

SIX: Information to intelligently place and refuse trust

SEVEN: The importance of information to hold government to account

EIGHT: The makings of a path ahead

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