Coral Gables: Where is the Accountability?

After reading the 2008-2009 Budget of the City of Coral Gables and a definition of accountability in the budget, I came across this definition of accountability from the Government of Canada

Accountability–The obligation to demonstrate and take responsibility for performance in light of agreed expectations. There is a difference between responsibility and accountability: responsibility is the obligation to act; accountability is the obligation to answer for an action.

The 2008-2009 Budget of the City of Coral Gables (p. 17) defines Accountability as “The budget is a tool legalizing public expenditures and to account for and control the use of public resources.”

By this definition, the Coral Gables City Government officials have failed to capture the essentials of accountability as an obligation of good government, whereby, the government both “demonstrates” and “takes responsibility” to the community, and that this accountability is obligatory meaning there is no choice but to provide the information. The responsibility of management is to the City Commission and to its citizens, residents and businesses who finance the budget with their taxes and fees. The Coral Gables Government does not practice good governance by regularly making available current budget execution information to its citizens. This could be done with the existing information system and internet website of the City.

About Stephen E. McGaughey
International consultant in economic development programs and projects

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