A letter to the New York Times details another reason why accountability is critical for good government: the retention of talented career public servants.
“…the biggest reason to pursue accountability: the morale of current and future career employees of the very agencies so poorly served by most government officials for most of the last eight years… For all the fickle revolving-door political appointments that… departments have had to endure… nothing so demeans worthy men and women as the abrogation of trust.
People of character will not choose to subject themselves to personal and professional debasement when they have no faith in the integrity of the offices we ask them to serve.”
Without highly capable administrators to make critical decisions about the investment of government money, it’s certain that government money won’t be spent “wisely and… well.” With America’s near future holding unprecedented government spending and continued sharp decreases in government revenues, it is critical to attract and retain as many talented, career public servants as possible.
As we’ve written before, the sharing of information between public agencies and the actual public, and the visualizaton of data as maps and charts, can promote accountability by facilitating transparency in decision-making and giving decision-makers relevent data on which to base their decisions. The impact of accountability on staff retention is yet another reason that government agencies must use current technology in making and publicizing decisions.