Although governing in Canada is in transition towards a model of horizontal "governance" that emphasizes collaboration with a variety of non-governmental actors, the contracting culture and its associated accountability regime remain a legacy of "new public management." As part of this transition, however, contracting is being used not only as a means to control performance but also as a governance tool to guide the development of more collaborative relationships between government as a whole and entire sectors. In its relationship with the voluntary sector, the Government of Canada is caught in these contradictory trends - between the control of contracting and the collaboration inherent in a governance contract. This article first examines the impact on voluntary organizations of the very stringent federal measures over contribution agreements that were brought in as a reaction to crisis in 2000. The effects are found to be significant and overwhelmingly negative, imposing direct financial costs on voluntary organizations and stifling innovation. The authors then consider whether the implementation of the Accord Between the Government of Canada and the Voluntary Sector and its Code of Good Practice on Funding might mitigate the negative effects of these accountability measures.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1754-7121.2004.tb01188.x
Journal Canadian Public Administration
Citation
Phillips, S.D, & Levasseur, K. (Karine). (2004). The snakes and ladders of accountability: Contradictions between contracting and collaboration for Canada's Voluntary Sector. Canadian Public Administration, 47(4), 451–474. doi:10.1111/j.1754-7121.2004.tb01188.x