Research and Feasibility Study role in ensuring good governance across institutions and processes. When public officers have an obligation to explain and justify their conduct towards other public authorities, or taxpayers and citizens, they are exposed to the judgement and, possibly, the sanctions that can be imposed for any wrongdoing. In order for the accountability mechanism to work, however, certain conditions must be met, including transparent access to information, reliable accounting systems and an independent media and judiciary. For many countries, seeking improvements in their accountability and public governance systems is on on-going process. One such case is Ethiopia, which embarked on a series of reforms of the civil service and public financial management systems in the mid-1990s, with great success. Running alongside a programme of decentralisation of public functions, the reforms resulted in the creation of a modern macroeconomic and fiscal framework that introduced many innovative components.