LETTER: More accountability needed

Accountability and transparency became public sector buzzwords in the early 1990s ...

Accountability and transparency became public sector buzzwords in the early 1990s, yet governments are making slow progress toward implementation. In his victory speech, PM Trudeau pledged his commitment followed by some media skeptics indicating that we would, again, be disappointed in a few years.

The private sector excluded, few people surpass the accountability of a Grade 1 student. Indeed, it is a moral dilemma that our children are held to higher degrees of accountability than most workers including all governments.

Consider that the student will receive a written formal evaluation on their work approximately 50 times before graduation. Their performance will be rated (symbols/letter grades) and ranked (percent/letter grades) in multiple subjects (reading/math/etc.) in multiple areas within each subject. Occasionally failure occurs unless the school is still devoted to the now ill-regarded practice of social promotion.

During these 12 years our governments are held accountable on approximately three occasions, and the decision will likely be based more on emotional reasons than on empirical data. Even though our previous government had the best empirical outcomes of any country, public satisfaction measures were weak.

Governments may eventually catch on to a process of developing a report card based on public input but featuring the same principles as applied to our school children. A recent premier in Alberta set out to do this but he failed to understand sources of strong opposition.

The emergence of accountability and transparency also gave rise to a new corps of government staff whose primary role is to spin messages. This is relatively easy when government’s performance is not given evaluation ratings, and departments made certain that the public could not benefit from a consistent assessment. Within one week of the premier’s staff understanding what was about to happen, he was persuaded to abandon the effort.

Surprisingly the media also disapproves. They thrive on creating controversy and also want to avoid consistent assessment so that they can spin their interpretation of the data.

We will wait to see whether PM Trudeau was merely tickling our ears or whether he has a sincere desire to make government more accountable than Grade 1 children.

Jim Dueck, Abbotsford

Just Posted

Abbotsford Angels 13U AA win provincial title

Baseball team now heads to Manitoba for Western Canadian Championships

Blue Angels help drive attendance increase at Abbotsford Airshow

Around 90,000 people attended this year’s event; officials to re-evaluate traffic plans for next year

Mayor calls favouritism allegations by Coun. Moe Gill ‘an absolute fabrication’

Gill has been silent since claiming Henry Braun’s friends had unique access to Abbotsford city hall

Sumas Mountain Regional Park closed; air quality warning issued

Dry conditions prompt closure of park, as smoke rolls in across the Lower Mainland.

Wildfire smoke brings in air quality advisory for Lower Mainland

People with health conditions are urged to avoid the outdoors

VIDEO: Abbotsford International Airshow Sunday

Highlights from day three of the 2018 event

Man plows truck into Houses of Parliament in London

UK police treat Parliament crash as terrorism, man arrested

Child dies in boating incident in Okanagan

A North Vancouver family was boating on Kalamalka Lake in Vernon when the incident occured

B.C. Wildfires 2018: Province calls for federal aid

More fires have burned in B.C. already this year than did in all of 2017

Kayak in Indian Arm waters off B.C.’s Deep Cove and feast on famous doughnuts

About a half hour drive from Vancouver, Deep Cove is a great kayaking spot for locals and tourists

Child, 4, attacked by cougar near Fernie

The BC Conservation Officer Service said it happened while the family was fishing

Trans Mountain pipeline protesters practise resisting police at Camp Cloud

Last week, a Supreme Court judge granted the City of Burnaby an injunction ordering protesters to remove everything from the site

Drug-checking started as pilot in four B.C. communities to test for fentanyl

Substance is mixed with water on test strip, and result is revealed in minutes

Gun used in Fredericton killings is legal, man had licence

Police Chief Leanne Fitch said the long gun is commonly available for purchase, and is not a prohibited or restricted weapon

Most Read