Report No. 230
1.30 The term 'governance' is derived from a Latin term that literally means steering. It refers to the processes and systems by which an organization or society operates; the processes by which decisions are made that define expectations, grant power, or verify performance.
1.31 The ideal concept of public officer, expressed by the words 'a public office is a public trust', signifies that the officer has been entrusted with public power by the people; that the officer holds this power in trust to be used only for their benefit and never for the benefit of himself or of a few; and that the officer must never conduct his own affairs so as to infringe the public trust.
1.32 Citizens have a legitimate expectation that the public servants will serve the public interest with fairness and manage public resources properly on a daily basis. The increased democratization and globalization has resulted in increased visibility of the public officials. Critical questions are nowadays asked about the way in which cases have been dealt with, the justice of the decisions, the exercise of discretions, and the morals of public servants. Leaders are increasingly being called upon to account for their actions by the communities affected by those actions.