Does public accountability even matter if the public sector is performing well?


  • John Ryan



public accountability, trust and confidence, performance, public service reform, public audit


Improving performance has been the mantra and driving force behind much of New Zealand’s public sector1 reform work since the mid- to late 1980s. These reforms have had a positive effect and this performance drive remains important today. However, it would also be fair to say that New Zealand and its public sector have changed significantly over the past two to three decades, and these changes have altered the relationship between the public sector and the public of New Zealand. The public are demanding more of our public accountability system. In today’s diverse, dynamic and connected world, how well the public sector tells its story and assures the public it is meeting its expectations is as important as how well the public sector manages itself and delivers services.


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