Explaining the accountability of independent agencies: The importance of political salience

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)
199 Downloads (Pure)


Independent agencies are exempted from the accountability mechanisms inherent in the ministerial hierarchy. To compensate for this, politicians incorporate all kinds of information and reporting requirements into the statutes of the organizations. However, the degree to which this occurs varies considerably, which raises the question: Why are some agencies are made more accountable than others? This study examines the impact of political salience on degrees of accountability, controlling for other potential explanations. Using original data on 103 independent agencies in the Netherlands, the analysis demonstrates that salience has a twofold effect. First, agencies dealing with more salient issues are made more politically accountable. Second, agencies whose statutes are written when the issue of accountability is more salient are also subject to higher degrees of accountability. Other explanatory factors are the number of veto players and the legal basis of the organization.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-234
Number of pages26
JournalJournal Of Public Policy
Issue number2
Early online date29 Jun 2011
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011


Dive into the research topics of 'Explaining the accountability of independent agencies: The importance of political salience'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this