(DOD) The obligation imposed by law or lawful order or regulation on an officer or other person for keeping accurate record of property, documents, or funds. The person having this obligation may or may not have actual possession of the property, documents, or funds. Accountability is concerned primarily with records, while responsibility is concerned primarily with custody, care, and safekeeping. See also responsibility.
Accountability is a concept in ethics with several meanings. It is often used synonymously with such concepts as answerability, responsibility, blameworthiness, liability and other terms associated with the expectation of account-giving. As an aspect of governance, it has been central to discussions related to problems in both the public and private (corporation) worlds.
At its root, accountability involves either the expectation or assumption of account-giving behavior. The study of account giving as a sociological act was first explicitly articulated in a 1968 article on "Accounts" by Marvin Scott and Stanford Lyman,  although it can be traced as well to J.L. Austin's 1956 essay "A Plea for Excuses,"  in which he used excuse-making as an example of speech acts. Communications scholars have extended this work through the examination of strategic uses of excuses, justifications, rationalizations, apologies and other forms of account giving behavior by individuals and corporations, and Philip Tetlock and his colleagues have applied experimental design techniques to explore how individuals behave under various scenarios and situations that demand accountability.
In politics, and