According to Bovens “accountability is a relationship between an actor and a forum in which the actor has the obligation to explain and justify his or her conduct, the forum can pose questions and pass judgement, and the actor may face consequences.” 

It is a political principle according to which agencies or organizations, such as those in government, are subject to some form of external control, causing them to give a general accounting of and for their actions; an essential concept in democratic public administration.

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