Reform Pushes Institutions to Ensure Accountability

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Addis Ababa March 02/2019 The sweeping reforms in Ethiopia seem to push institutions to ensure accountability and regain the public’s trust. Lack of accountability has corroded public respect for institutions including the justice system.

Since April, the Ethiopian government has announced reforms including plans to build capacity of institutions and to ensure accountability.

Strengthening the system of accountability and regain the public’s trust is among the focus areas of the institutional reform, said Zinabu Tunu Communication Director at Federal General Attorney.

In order to establish a system that promotes accountability, the government has embarked on institutional reform with the aim of strengthening transparency and accountability of public institutions.

The institutional reform has two parts – restructuring the institutions themselves and introducing a legal framework that sets accountability among institutions.

A legal framework that aims to establish a system towards accountability of employees and leaders of public institutions for their actions is being prepared by the Attorney General.

 “In line with supporting the reform in various institutions, we are preparing a legal framework that will enable the institutions to be accountable for their actions”, he said.

Transparency and accountability should be ensured in institutions for efficient service delivery and thereby regain the trust that the system has lost, he said.

“Challenges such as lack of accountability and transparency are among the things that entangle reforms that attempt to do in past time, so we need to strength the sense of accountability in our institutions to complete our massive reform”, he said.

According to Zinabu, the legal framework will help to draw the line in establishing a strong system by allowing the public to demand accountability and institutions make responsible persons accountable for their actions.

In addition to the legal framework that guides the accountability system, institutions are reviewing their establishment proclamations so as to go along with the reform.

 “We are helping institutions to make reforms, so some institutions are already amended their establishment regulations, while others are on the process as part of the reform”, he said.

For Ashenafi Abera, trainer and consultant of management, reforming institutions is a timely action and putting a legal framework is important.

 “The advantage of supporting the institutional reform with legal framework is that the system will have a sustainable base, or the reform will be built on a strong foundation that will not fail on the future”, he said.   

However, Ashenafi argued that the legal frameworks should be set through research and public consultation.

According to Ashenafi, the reform should consider the nature of the work that institutions are responsible, referring to the previous system that forced all institutions to follow similar administrative system.

 “The other thing I can suggest for the government regarding the current reform is that the reform should be based on researches and it must have particular feature for a particular institution, and it must be taken with caution”, he said.

Through the reform, introduced almost a year ago, Ethiopia among others is working to build capacity of its institutions and ensure accountability in order to meet public demands and regain trust.