Mark Easton looks at what accountability means to the government:
Accountability won’t be driven by opposition politicians, quangocrats, journalists or pressure groups in Westminster. Bang go many of those expensive national bean-counters, beavering away to ensure taxpayers’ money is being spent effectively and wisely. Instead, the idea is that pressure will come from the great British public – at local level.
Polly Toynbee on Sir Philip Green’s review of ‘waste’:
The idea is that citizens will monitor public services themselves, with local politicians answerable only at the ballot box for the effectiveness of their services. But how can patients or parents detect best value in the buying of syringes or school chairs? The ideology demands the NHS, schools, social services and almost everything be devolved, often beyond the control of local councils, to lowest possible levels of decision-making. No more auditors and regulators to compare value for money. All this tugs embarrassingly in the opposite ideological direction to Green.