Chapter

Accountability and the Political System

Ian Scott

in The Public Sector in Hong Kong

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9789622091726
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882207578 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5790/hongkong/9789622091726.003.0016
Accountability and the Political System

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Determining political accountability of the government is measured by the capacity of external bodies, be they voters, legislatures, or superior levels of the government, to impose sanctions on government officials in the event of unsatisfactory performance. Based on this criterion of political accountability, Hong Kong's government is accountable to the government of the People's Republic of China and Principal Officials are answerable to the Chief Executive. The Chief Executive and Principal Officials meanwhile are weakly accountable to the Legislative Council and the voting public. Political accountability rests not solely on the provisions of the constitution but also on the way in which power is exercised. The government can provide conventions that introduce accountability into the government's actions, or it may act in ways that violate the constitution. It can provide measures within the framework of the constitution that may alter the power exercised by the government. This chapter examines the effects of the measures undertaken by the government on broader issues of representation and accountability in Hong Kong.

Keywords: political accountability; government; accountability; power; representation; accountability; Hong Kong government; Principal Officials

Chapter.  9017 words. 

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