Obscure accountability for public services Inhibited official accountability Inadequate accountability of public sector management Non-accountability of state-controlled enterprises
A UK computer journalist has reported on the way Government and corporate bureaucrats repeatedly waste taxpayers' money by repeating the same basic mistakes with computer systems, and how there is then no proper auditing system to ensure that lessons are learned and mistakes not repeated. He analyses examples such as the UK National Health Service, which spent Â£500 million on computers to reduce staff costs, coinciding with a 40% increase in the number of administrators. In every case examined, the same pattern emerges: the hiring of expensive consultants to design a complex, over-ambitious, one-off system, which fails to allow for the requirements and capacities of its users; overtight schedules; an almost psychotic reluctance to admit that things have gone wrong. Then finally, when the system crashes, no one is found to be accountable, and no one is concerned to learn why it went wrong.
It is the lack of accountability and the resultant profusion of corruption, bloated bureaucracies, under-performing parasites and abuse of power that has become a common denominator among developing countries, from single party left-wing regimes to conservative autocracies.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
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