Dogma Premise # 25
Government–run projects necessarily fail compared to privately run projects because government projects lack a single owner invested in the overall success of the project.
Dogma Premise #25 posits yet another supposed reason for the alleged inefficiency of government: lack of accountability.
Accountability means two separate things. First, that there is a specific identified person or group of people designated as responsible for the project’s success. Second, that if the project goes badly there will be some negative consequences -- the responsible parties will be “held accountable.”
The suggestion that private enterprises are more accountable than public enterprises is surprising, because exactly the opposite is true.
Public and private enterprises both assign owners to their projects, but only in government is the identity of the owner a matter of public record.
Public and private enterprises both provide career paths for their managers and leaders, but only in government projects is there a chance of democratic/social accountability, because only in government projects are the details of the project a matter of public record, and only in government projects is there an opportunity to use the electoral process to reward, punish, or influence who runs the projects.
By contrast, anyone who has spent time near the top of a large private organization knows the chummy cronyism that pervades the culture. Project leaders can lose millions of dollars, repeatedly, and still count on another assignment or a new job at a different company, specifically because there is no social accountability. The only accountability is to the wealthy, who routinely assign their children, their friends, and their paramours into positions of power. The owner can hold them accountable for failure, or decide to give them another chance, for any reason or for no reason.
Private enterprises are not more likely than public enterprises to have assigned project responsibility and accountability to a designated person or group invested in the overall success of the project.