The act of hiring an accountant does not relieve an employer of the responsibility of safeguarding its resources and interests.
Similarly, that act of electing a representative does not relieve a group of the responsibility of safeguarding its resources and interests.
Whether we’re talking about money or power, when the employer fails to oversee and demand accountability, money/power will eventually be used to benefit the one who is controlling it rather than the one(s) to whom it belongs.
The most dangerous thing for any person or group is unchecked access to resources and power. That sort of power makes them into targets for temptations and pressures that cannot always be risen above. How much easier is it to tempt or coerce one person or even 60 people than it is to tempt or coerce multitudes of people?
When we send representatives off with a blank check and we don’t demand accountability we are in essence sending them off to the destruction of themselves as well as the destruction of those they represent. The election process is neither frequent nor effective enough to ward off the pressures they are subjected to.
With regard to the political arena in the U.S. which is in an emergency state -
We must support our representatives and protect them from the pressures they face. The quickest way to do this is for every person to demand full accountability of those they elect and hire. We must demand it of our school boards, mayors, governors, congressmen, senators and President. We must demand that they read and understand what they are signing and/or voting on before they do so. And we must demand a full accounting of the reasons for their vote on a point by point basis for every issue in a bill - including ear marks.
If we fulfill our own responsibility in the process we will have a better outcome. We will have laws and services that better reflect the interests of the people and perhaps most importantly, we will remove the power from those who seek to corrupt the process for their own profit. The pressure of corruption can be very effective when it is exerted on an individual or on a small group but that pressure is too expensive and ineffective when it must be spread over great numbers.
Our representatives are only the custodians of our collective vote/power not the owners of it. Demanding accountability from our representatives will do two crucial things. First, it ensures that we retain ownership of our vote/power and second it supports our representatives by removing temptations and pressures.
Call or write your representatives. Thank them for their service but also respectfully ask for accountability. We see the difference we are making nearly every day now. Keep up the good work!
© 2009-2010 Erin Lawlor
**disclaimer: All information posted on this blog is from my own experience and training. The guidelines I present are general and in my experience, standard practice. I do not write with authority from any Accounting Standards Boards.