CCA Purpose

How the web site works

Concepts and Terms

Why We Need Public Accountability

Principles of Accountability

Standards for Public Answering

Legislating Accountability

The Equity Statement

Steps in Holding to Account

CCA Blog

Citizen Audit

CCA Convenors

Journal of Public Accountability

Contact Us


How the Web Site Works

This site will offer the basic concepts of accountability and of holding to account, and proposes principles of accountability and related standards for public answering by authorities. The principles and answering standards can be applied to a wide range of public concerns. (Accountability in personal relationships is beyond the scope of CCA’s work.)

Concerned citizens and public interest organizations, elected representatives, members of different types of organizations and members of governing bodies all need help if they are serious about public accountability. For example, elected representatives are often overworked and have information overload, yet, with no training, they must hold governments and corporations to account on our behalf as well as account to us themselves. Citizens need help in holding to account because they don't have the time after work to audit everything intended or done by those in authority.

The web site is based on the book by Henry E. McCandless, co-published in 2002 by Trafford Publishing and the Circle: A Citizen’s Guide to Public Accountability: Changing the Relationship Between Citizens and Authorities. A summary of each chapter is included in this site, and the Trafford Publishing link offers useful information on the book. Website visitors wishing to purchase a copy may simply click on the link to place their order.

As the means for CCA's forum role, this web site includes the Journal of Public Accountability (JPA). The Journal offers articles by CCA Convenors on accountability issues, concepts, strategy and practice, and welcomes submissions by others. There is no "refereeing" process for submitted articles: the main criterion is that the article be of practical help in holding to account.

As we identify organizations working on improving public answering by authorities, we will provide links to their web sites. In a future up-date CCA will provide a discussion format to facilitate exchange on major accountability issues.

The CCA aim is to explain accountability and holding to account, and to suggest how citizens and public interest organizations can exact adequate public answering from authorities. The Citizen’s Guide shows the types of harm and injustice that can happen when we don’t require public answering from authorities.

In the Journal of Public Accountability we can report results from people applying the accountability approaches suggested in the Guide and those they develop themselves. Because authorities cannot evade the answering obligation when put to them legitimately and effectively, holding to account should be an adventure, not a daunting task for those who working on improving fairness in society.