Editor in Chief: Dr. Hussain Yasa Sunday, January 22nd, 2017


Having been provided with enormous amount since 2001, Afghan government’s sincere efforts seemed infinitesimal if not none, for not having taken any sufficient proportional step to turn the fate of people. As an ordinary citizen, everybody has the right to information and claims equal rights to hold his elected representative accountable on these grounds. The blinding illiteracy has left people ignorant of their fundamental rights and eased public officials at making them fools. How many welfare tasks are undertaken, out of aforementioned sum? How many hospitals, educational institutes and vocational training centers are built across the length? Has the government tried to meet the agreed terms and conditions? The absence of proper control mechanism, check and balance and accountability made governmental institutes operate at will. To check such ill-conducts institutions of high moral and prestige should be created that could exercise strict accountability of public officials.
To be accountable is to be answerable for one's conduct in respect to obligation fulfilled or unful­filled. Accountability is the obligation of an individual to keep his superior informed of his use of authority and accomplishment of assigned tasks. Accountability grows out of responsibility and goes hand in hand with it. A person who is responsible for results must recognize that he will be judged by the quality of his performance. Just as responsibility is a derivative of authority, accountability is a derivative of responsibility. It is the obligation to perform assigned tasks and the reporting of performance.
Accountability refers to the obligation of an individual to report formally to his superior for the proper discharge of his responsibility. It is the answerability of a subordinate to render an account of his activities to his superior. The person who accepts responsibility is accountable for the performance of the assigned duties.
It makes respon­sibility meaningful and completes the process of delegation. Responsi­bility is stated in terms of work done, while accountability is stated in terms of performance. The delegated authority, the assumed responsibility is an imposed accountability. Authority flows downward while accountability for performance flows upward. Responsibility arises from authority while accountability is derived from respon­sibility. Authority means some autonomy while accountability is meant to regulate autonomy. Authority is the medium for creating respon­sibility while accountability is a means of fulfilling responsibility.
Political accountability is constraint placed on the behavior of public officials by organizations and constituencies with the power to apply sanctions on them.  As political accountability increases, the costs to public officials of taking decisions that benefit their private interests at the expense of the broader public interest also increase, thus working as a deterrent to corrupt practices.
Accountability rests largely on the effectiveness of the sanctions and the capacity of institutions to monitor the actions, decisions, and private interests of public officials. 
Political accountability limits the use and sanctions the abuse of political power. Public exposure is necessary but not sufficient to limit or sanction the abuse of power. Actors and institutions that promote accountability attempt to bind the exercise of power to specific benchmark standards. It can be promoted through both state and non-state institutions, and pro-accountability outcomes often depend on mutually reinforcing interactions between the two.
The liability assumed by those exercising authority to account for the manner in which they have fulfilled responsibilities entrusted to them, a liability ultimately to the Afghan people owed by Parliament, by the government and thus, every governmental department and agency. Without it, power in the hands of the wrong individual or group could be abused to the extent where laws and policies could be formulated which would undermine the integrity of the Afghan population.
Legitimate, political power must be properly controlled and regulated through accountable measures; otherwise social, political, and economic chaos could ensue. Unfortunately, Afghanistan does not possess such legal measures to limit the power of those who have it, at least on the surface.
Transparency via public scrutiny has proven to be one of the most powerful forms of monitoring public officials. A number of measures can foster such transparency: opening sessions of the parliament, government, and the courts to the public; registering lobbying activities; and publishing the voting records of parliamentarians, annual reports of government bodies, trial records, and the decisions of judges.
There is a range of legal instruments as well as agency-specific rules, which can be effective in deterring corrupt behavior. Ethical codes, regulations on lobbying, disciplinary committees, prohibitions on and disclosure of conflict of interest, including the receipt of gifts and other benefits received from private resources, asset declaration laws, procurement laws and party financing laws are amongst the most prominent ones.
Freedom of information laws, whereby citizens can demand the disclosure of information regarding government activities and a whistle-blower protection law in order to encourage the reporting of corruption cases can further reinforce the impact of increased transparency on accountability. To be fully effective, however, such laws need oversight and implementation bodies. Afghanistan rudimentarily needs these law formulated and enacted with soul and spirit.
Working in conformation with each other the governmental institutions can keep the conduct of public officials in checks to know either they are functioning in accordance to rule of business prescribed by constitution or detracted. Being negligent to the dire need of a mechanism of answerability the government might not earn prosperity for the country in the long term.