The fundamental argument put forward in this chapter is that the processes of civil service modernisation have extended into the realm of accountability, freedom of information and open government, with the mixed outcomes and consequences that earlier chapters have led us to expect. The traditional ‘chain of accountability’ that linked civil servants, ministers and Parliament, as encapsulated by the Westminster-Whitehall model, has been subject to waves of change, as the complex realities of the world of network governance and the differentiated polity - not to mention the different expectations of an ‘Information Age’ electorate - have encroached upon the apparent simplicities and certainties of ‘tradition’. The result, as with so many other aspects of modernisation, has been slow adaptation by the civil service to the new challenges (in line with its capacity to assimilate change, as seen in each of the three previous chapters), and an accommodation (not always complete, nor completely successful) with the messy realities of modernised governance.
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