This chapter starts the process of developing a framework of public law norms for internal contracts by setting out a policy to guide that development. It proposes that governments can be viewed as mechanisms of accountability, particularly from provider to purchaser. Thus, a task for regulation is to set norms which would help make that accountability process fair and effective. It argues that for effective policy implementation three criteria are needed: accountability is a fundamental value in a democracy, and therefore politically acceptable; internal contracts can be interpreted as mechanisms of accountability; and the idea of a fair and effective mechanism of accountability is a fruitful source of norms. The chapter concludes that the promotion of accountability as a guiding policy is appealing because it is a core value in the public sector.
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