n.The ability to answer for, explain, or justify actions or decisions for which an individual, organization, or system is responsible.
Lemieux 2001, p. 92 Traditionally, archival thinking on the relationship between records and accountability has rested on a belief that the usual circumstances of records creation gives assurances of reliability and authenticity, and therefore of trustworthiness, a quality essential to giving of and holding to account. MacNeil 2000, p. 50 The principle that underlies the concept of accountability . . . is linked to the conveying and evaluation of information. . . . For ongoing bodies, accountability required the development and refinement of procedures for carrying out actions and documenting them, 'to ensure that everything was done according to rule and in proper sequence, so that administrators could account . . . at any time precisely for anything that had been done. Effective institutional accountability has therefore depended on record-making, recordkeeping and access to records, and it has influenced the procedures and timing of their creation, their form, their maintenance, their accessibility and their centralization. [Citing Parkinson.]