THE ELEMENTS OF GOOD GOVERNANCE
Category : Corporate Governance Papers
THE ELEMENTS OF GOOD GOVERNANCE
Generally speaking, the concept of governance has been in the human civilization since the time that the people learned how to live in one community or society through the process of making decisions and implementations of certain laws, rules and policies in order to live orderly and harmoniously in one environment. However, at this time and age, governance can be meant several perspectives such as corporate governance, international governance, national governance and local governance. Governance always involves the process of decision making and implementations of decisions and certain laws. And, one of the active main players of governance is the government itself. Next to government is the officials in the government, in the rural areas, they are may be influential individuals in the community such as landlords, associations of peasant farmers, members of cooperatives, NGO members, from research institutes or scholars, religious leaders, from financial or political parties, as well as from military services. On the other hand, at the national level, there are additional individuals who play vital roles in decision-making or in influencing the decision-making process; and they are the media, lobbyists, international donors, multi-national corporations and many others. All these individuals play vital roles in the civil society. In the same manner, good governance must have eight significant characteristics in order for it to run effectively. The government should be participatory, consensus oriented, accountable, transparent, responsive, effective and efficient; as well as equitable and inclusive; at the same time, it follows the rule of law. More importantly, it gives assurance to its people that its governance would be free from corruption practices. In addition to that, the government should give priority to the views of minorities and listen to the voice of most vulnerable group of people in the society when it comes to decision making.
In this connection, there are specific elements of good governance. First, the government must have participation from the citizenry; both men and women in the society should take part in various activities and organizations in the government sectors. Relatively, it is very essential to give emphasis on the democratic form of governance. Equally important, good governance requires fair legal structure that must be applied objectively in order to give full protection to the human rights of the people, most especially those minorities. And, to implement this effectively, there must be unbiased implementation of laws that require independent judiciary and an impartial, as well as corrupt-free police force. Second, the government must have complete transparency with all its decision makings; as well as with its implementations of laws and policies that should be aligned to the rules and regulations of good governance. Additionally, all information must be easily accessible and understandable by the media as well as by the ordinary citizens. By doing this, disseminating important information about the activities and real status of the government would be easily monitored and understood by the entire citizenry. Third important element of good governance is the accountability of the government as well as its officials for whatever public performances, behavior and any act while in their posts. The accountability of public institutions must be evaluated through their economic and financial performance. The government officials’ accountability must be based on their effectiveness of formulating and implementing government resources efficiently. While financial accountability of them must be gauged by their accounting records on their expenditure management, as well as through internal and external auditing of the entire government expenditures.
Subsequently, good governance must show predictability. Predictability deals with the fair and consistent application of the laws and implementation of government policies in order to have a peaceful and well managed society. The government must have the rule of law that aligns with the well defined rights and duties and the mechanisms in order to implement government laws effectively and sufficiently. It requires the states to set disputes among its people through legal system for private individuals and enterprises. Thus, a good governance must also be consensus oriented; such as governance requires mediation of the various interests of the people in the society. In the same fashion, government should require a broad and long-term principles in sustaining and achieving human development; and in order to succeed in this area, the government must have complete understanding of the cultural, social, as well as historical contexts of the entire citizenry. Besides, a government should ensure the entire citizenry that effectiveness and efficiency must be always present in every decision it make, as well as in every implementation of each law; by this way, there is an assurance that the well being of the people would be in top priority as well as the protection of the environment.