This blog post provides an overview of the problem of lack of accountability and the causes behind it. It explains some of the key reasons for poor governance hurdles, such as red-tapism, ineffectiveness in putting rules and laws into practice, low levels of awareness among citizens about their rights and responsibilities, and a lack of responsibility.
Barriers to Good Governance: Introduction
- The reasons for governments not being citizen-centric may be attributed to the work and attitude of some government employees, as well as flaws in existing structural arrangements.
- While the Legislature’s laws may be useful and effective, most of the time they are not properly carried out by government officials.
- The institutional structure may be inadequate at times, and it is ill-conceived, so it has neither the capacity nor the resources to follow the laws in all respects.
Prime Minister, in this context, had stated:
“Efficient and effective institutions form the backbone of a successful development and governance process. The founding fathers had the foresight to build the important institutional framework which has brought us so far. We need to think whether this framework is adequate in the years to come; whether past modes of functioning will address the demands of the future in a fast-changing world; whether skills and capabilities that were relevant in the past have outlived their utility? It is only by asking and answering these questions will we be able to identify institutional reforms which will meet the needs of our times. ”
- The current method of local government is known to be inefficient and prone to inefficiency (as well as political, economic, and sociological problems).
- Excessive centralization is a common problem, with policies and action plans being disconnected from the needs of the citizens. This ultimately leads to a disconnect between what is required and what is delivered.
- The fundamental problem lies in a lack of capacity building for those who are charged with putting the rules in place.
- The study found that while issues of corruption and mismanagement exist in many areas, an absence of awareness about one’s responsibilities and rights, as well as a callous approach to compliance with laws on the part of some citizens, create additional roadblocks to good governance.
- The Attitudinal Problems of the Civil Servants is a growing worry that the Civil Services and administration in general have become inflexible, wooden, inward-looking, and self-perpetuating.
- The second reason relates to their stance in the outside world. Because of this, they are incapable of feeling empathy and concern for people’s needs. It is linked to the significant imbalance in power distribution throughout all levels of government, which has deepened the problem.
- The result is that police officers believe they are giving favors to citizens rather than serving them, and as a consequence, an institution of exaggerated deference to authority has taken hold.
Given below are major reasons for the inefficiency of Good Governance.
Lack of Accountability
- The inability of the system to hold government employees accountable for their activities is frequently cited as a primary cause of inefficiency in governance.
- Disciplinary actions against government employees are rarely taken, and fines are even less common.
- The majority of people believe that money is a powerful tool for achieving one’s goals. Many individuals also think it is necessary to reveal their success in order to be believed. However, because authority is divorced from accountability at most levels, this leads to a system of genuine and plausible excuses.
- The lengthy disciplinary processes have only added to the general lack of enthusiasm for punishment among Government officials. Furthermore, the protections offered to civil servants, which were well-intentioned, have frequently been misused.
- Another reason for the lack of accountability is that government performance evaluation systems have not been properly put in place.
- Employees have taken on an apathetic or careless attitude towards clients and complaints as a result of the system’s complacency.
Low Levels of Awareness of the Rights and Duties of Citizens
Citizens are unable to hold erring government officials to account as a result of their lack of knowledge about their rights.
Similarly, low levels of citizen compliance with the law act as a barrier to good governance; When individuals do not follow their responsibilities, they infringe on the freedom and rights of others.
As a result, understanding your legal rights and performing your obligations are both sides of the same coin. A vigilant citizenry, knowledgeable of its rights as well as its responsibilities, is a surefire method to ensure that officials and other citizens fulfill their obligations.
Weak Civil Society
- Ineffective civil society institutions badly harm good governance.
- Civil society bridges the gap between citizens and the government. It fights unethical behavior.
- But, when Civil Society organizations are weakened or missing, the gap between people and the government widens.
Ineffective Implementation of Laws and Rules
- The country has a vast body of legislation, each one intended to accomplish various objectives such as maintaining public order and safety, sanitation and hygiene, citizens’ rights protection, and so on.
- These policies, if properly implemented, would create a society that is both more just and more productive.
- On the other hand, badly implemented regulations might cause significant suffering to individuals and even damage people’s confidence in the government system.
Throughout the world, governments must follow certain rules and procedures in order to maintain a functional system. Of course, these regulations and processes are essential for successful governance.
However, at times, these rules and procedures are ab-initio designed poorly and inconvenient, thus failing to achieve their goals.
In addition, government employees can become overly obsessed with rules and procedures, which they see as an end in themselves. The Prime Minister of India has said: “While emphasizing procedural improvements, I must emphasize the necessity of creating a new environment that is more customer-centric and customer-focused.
“Very often, the most difficult area of reform in government is a process and procedural reform. No amount of investment in capabilities and technologies can improve performance and service delivery beyond a point if we continue to be prisoners of archaic procedures and processes. Often, policy reform measures do not deliver the desired outcomes because of a lack of forwarding movement in the reform of government processes.
This is after all, what gives rise to the so-called Inspector Raj. This is what makes the interface of a common citizen with the government a cumbersome and daunting affair. This is often the root cause of corruption as well.”
Lack of strong institutions of governance
The Successful Government is a representative government that has all of the key elements to be successful. It endures for centuries and can provide stability during turbulent times.
Its foundation stones are the three branches of government: legislative, executive, and judicial.
When these organizations succumb to unlawful and unethical influences, and do not carry out their intended duties, they become less robust.
This causes the governance process to fail and stymies development initiatives.
- There is a need to restructure our national strategy in order to restore good governance and give primacy to the Gandhian principle of “Antyodaya.”
- India should also put more effort into cultivating honesty in government, which can lead to a more ethical policy.
- The government should continue to pursue the concepts of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, and Sabka Vishwas in order to achieve inclusive, long-term development.
- Every citizen of the country is concerned with government’s effective operation. Citizens are prepared to pay for high-quality state services, but what is required is a governance structure that is free of bias and prejudice.