Accountability as understood by the RAA

In essence, when a public servant is in trust and has been empowered to dispose off the resources, which is not his own, he must be fully accountable for the manner in which he discharges this trust to the public.

In the public sector, the accountability relationship may be better understood from the following diagram:

The Accountability Model

The Parliament of Bhutan, which is the People’s representative at the apex, entrusts and empowers the Executives with resources. The Executives implement the planned activities through use of resources provided by the Parliament. The Executives perform stewardship function of public funds and resources.

The Executives in turn are accountable to the Parliament to report on the implementation of activities and submit the accounts of activities undertaken. In other words, they are obliged to report on the discharge of their responsibilities and the resources provided by the Parliament. Therefore, they are accountable to the Parliament and the Parliament in turn is accountable to the public – the Bhutanese citizens.

There is a need for an independent oversight body to assess the quality of public sector activities and reporting. Therefore, the RAA in this regard exists to assess and provide independent, fair and objective opinion on the utilisation of public resources. Basically, it is to validate assertions made by executives in the financial accounts.