Who's accountable?

All parties appear to support greater localism but given the tendency to hold ministers accountable for all aspects of public service performance is it really possible for government to let go in our centralised political culture?

Ministers will understandably be reluctant to devolve powers if they are still held accountable for things if they go wrong. Conversely, however, they may be more inclined to devolve power where lines of accountability are clear and when they can be assured that once theyve let go responsibility is not quickly passed back to the centre when things go wrong. The question therefore arises about how best to devolve power and accountability.

This publication outlines findings from an opinion poll of 2709 members of the public to understand the factors that impact on public perceptions of accountability.