Taxpayer accountability principles

In 2014, BC published a policy that required public sector organizations to strengthen accountability, promote cost control and ensure business is conducted in the best interest of taxpayers.

I could argue that our province has not yet applied the principles broadly but, they are worth restating as fundamental to just and principled governance of any organization.

Taxpayer Accountability Principles

1. Cost consciousness (Efficiency)

Strengthen cost management capabilities and foster a culture of cost-consciousness at all levels of public sector organizations. Provide public services and programs as efficiently and effectively as possible to “bend the cost curve” and support sustainable public policies and programs as a lasting legacy for generations to come.

2. Accountability

Transparently manage responsibilities according to a set of common public sector principles in the best interest of the citizens of the province. By enhancing organizational efficiency and effectiveness in the planning, reporting and decision making, public sector organizations will ensure actions are aligned with government’s strategic mandate.

3. Appropriate compensation

Comply with a rigorous, standardized approach to performance management and employee compensation, which reflects appropriate compensation for work across the public sector that is consistent with government’s taxpayer accountability principles and respectful of the taxpayer.

4. Service

Maintain a clear focus on positive outcomes for citizens of British Columbia by delivering cost-efficient, effective, value-for-money public services and programs.

5. Respect

Engage in equitable, compassionate, respectful and effective communications that ensure all parties are properly informed or consulted on actions, decisions and public communications in a timely manner. Proactively collaborate in a spirit of partnership that respects the use of taxpayers’ monies.

6. Integrity

Make decisions and take actions that are transparent, ethical and free from conflict of interest. Require the establishment of a strong ethical code of conduct for all employees and executives. Serve the citizens of British Columbia by respecting the shared public trust and acting in accordance with the taxpayer accountability principles.


Author: Norm Farrell

Gwen and I raised three adult children in North Vancouver. Each lives in our community with seven grandchildren, 12 years and younger. I have worked in accounting and financial management and publish IN-SIGHTS.CA with news and commentary about public issuesv.

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