NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED536638
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 23
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Accountability in Ontario's Public Colleges: A Discussion Paper. ACAATO Document
Hook, Richard
Colleges Ontario
Accountability, "the extent to which one must answer to higher authority for one's actions" (Shafritz & Russell, 2000, p. 343), is a critical part of corporate and democratic life. In public institutions, sound accountability processes assure those in executive, governance, audit and "elected official" roles that public resources are being honestly and effectively used for the purpose for which they were intended. Additionally, information available to a broader audience should demonstrate that public institutions are effectively and efficiently managed and successfully perform their mandated roles. Because it is central to the public's trust in their institutions, accountability continues to be a media, political and public policy issue. The Association of Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology of Ontario (ACAATO) commissioned this study of the policies and mechanisms through member colleges are answerable to government and to the public. This study summarizes 7 principles of effective accountability practice drawn from a review of the relevant literature. These are: (1) clear lines of answerability; (2) a clear definition of the "responsibilities" for which an organization's leaders will be held accountable; (3) provisions for the reporting of performance; (4) defining and measuring "outcomes" and widely-recognized "core indicators" which relate "results" to "purpose", recognize the limits of unavoidable costs and available resources and which can be used systematically in decision making; (5) carefully balanced incentives; (6) relevant legal and financial rules and reporting to monitor compliance; and (7) a balance between the processes that hold organizations accountable and the authority needed to respond quickly to a dynamic marketplace. This paper assesses the current accountability policies governing the operation of Ontario's Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology (CAATs) against the above "effective practice" criteria. It concludes that the colleges a held to rigid and comprehensive controls over their financial and legal affairs, real estate dealings and entrepreneurial activity. Prior approval, audit, public financial reporting and Board governance practices ensure transparency. A bibliography is included.
Colleges Ontario. 20 Bay Street Suite 1600, Toronto, Canada M5J 2N8. Tel: 647-258-7670; Fax: 647-258-7699; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Colleges Ontario (Canada)
Identifiers - Location: Canada