Public accounting systems serve the interest of the public, this is the reason why they require the highest level of accountability, efficiency, and transparency. Most of the public institutions especially in Africa are funded by external donors who demand accountability and integrity, especially in procurement. Solution or systems that are put in place to ensure transparency and accountability are the tools that are needed to ensure that public resources are equitably utilized and needed development achieved.
Implementing technology is one way that can be used to increase government responsiveness towards public projects or funds. A good innovative system must have the following properties.
• Transparency – no room for working in private
• Monitoring of the system and individuals
• Identify and report errors and anomalies
• Public empowerment
• Deterrence – highlighting and reporting corrupt tendencies
• Promote Work Ethics
Examples of Technological Solutions That Can Boost Government Responsiveness
Technology has opened up the world and made it easier to channel administrative corruption which can be facilitated through the internet, telephone hotline, and mobile apps that can be used to collect information on corrupt dealings. There are websites that can be used to report instant cases of bribery by entering the location and probably the name (if known) of the person. Many countries in Africa are yet to take up on this initiative. Other cases to be reported may include electoral fraud and misuse of government vehicles
The need for people to know official government information has led to the rapid growth of monitoring solutions which enables ordinary citizens to access information via social email applications by making a specific request. Other applications could be developed to keep track of the government spending on particular projects, track or monitor the quality of services offered by the social service departments etc. Other activities such as the judiciary, politics, illegal logging and, land grabbing can also be monitored to deter further illegal activities
Data Collection Innovations
We need data to make a conclusive argument. A parallel data collection idea can be used to countercheck the accuracy of the data received from the government institutions. A Central database can be created on any public project to ensure that government responds to any allegations that may be made from the existing data.
Social Mobilization Innovations
Increasing interaction between the government and the citizens creates an avenue of integrity and openness. Such tools will increase the level of trust which can be a good thing for development. Outreach programs and such like initiatives should be communicated through this social platform to keep everyone engaged and aware of the activities the government is engaged in.
To enhance efficiency, accountability, and integrity, use of E-government to conduct government business leaves fewer avenues for corruption and makes service delivery faster and efficient. Governments can start procurement services over the net which replaces the paper-based system that is already scandal-ridden. Other services that can be delivered under the E-government system are
• Taxation services
• Online payments to public staff
• Digitizing the Judiciary
• Use of citizen electronic identification ID’s
Such ICT innovations can is used to put an emphasis on the importance of direct interactions between governments and citizens. The main aim is to empower the citizens and dedicated public servants on their roles as watchdogs to the projects being handled by the government. A mobile system can be used to make a query into the conduct of a particular public official an appropriate response should be expected.