Former Grenfell Tower resident Gill Kernick reports on the psychological impact of accountability and postulates that by accepting accountability for the psychological contract with citizens, the quality and impact of politicians’ responses to major incidents would improve.
Accountability is best used proactively to ensure those in positions of power think hard about decisions and their consequences. If we were obsessed with accountability before a disaster, we would prevent more of them.
But accountability has become a reactive blame game, rather than a proactive means of ensuring good governance. The Institute for Government expressed concern about failures to address ‘fundamental gaps in accountability’ to ensure it keeps ‘pace with the increasing complexity of modern government’.