Taxpayers want transparency from government

By Staff Writer
Most Johannesburg taxpayers rate their city as world-class - but they want more transparency and accountability from public service organisations, according to a survey by Accenture's Global Cities Forum.

The survey, which canvassed the opinions of Johannesburg residents, across different races and living conditions, found that nearly three out of every four (73%) Johannesburg residents see their city as world class, which puts it on a par with cities like Los Angeles (75%), New York City (73%) and Singapore (75%).

However, many voiced concerns about a range of issues, including corruption, the inefficient delivery of public services and the lack of transparency and accountability in the administration of public funds.

"Residents feel that as taxpayers, they hold the same position as shareholders in a private company, and therefore believe that they have a right to know how public service organisations spend public money," said Monica Rubombora, Senior Executive, Accenture SA.

"Residents want government to make public service organisations' spending and performance data available to the public so it can be scrutinised and constituents can hold their government accountable for inefficiencies, waste and corruption."

The survey found that residents also want to know how spending priorities are determined, how government contracts are awarded and what steps government is taking to reduce corruption and waste.

"In just the same way the government spends time during the National Budget Speech informing the public on how the funds have been allocated, residents believe that by making public spending more transparent and decision makers more accountable, taxpayers will get better value for money from public services," said Rubombora.

By allowing the public to scrutinise government spending, public service organisations would have a greater incentive to reduce costs, tackle inefficiencies and improve the effectiveness of public services, she said.

 

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