Why are the values of “democratic accountability” and “neutral competence” in conflict, and what is the appeal and weakness of each?

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Those who have been conferred with the responsibility of neutral competence may be in ethical conflict with the theory of democratic accountability.

Neutral competence is the principle that government employees have the ability to work expertly within objective standards with obligations of loyalty.

Democratic accountability states that government agencies and employees work within detailed procedural guidelines and are held accountable for government finances and governmental fairness.

Conflict may occur when experts step outside procedural guidelines, lose loyalty, and take personal advantage of their authority over finances and fairness.


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