Protecting the Public Trust: Implementing Accountability Measures in UK Museums

By Katherine Groninger.

Published by The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Ethical breaches in accountability within UK museums have put the industry at risk for losing the public trust. Museum leaders in Britain continue to work towards fiscal and ethical transparency, and respond to stakeholder demands for greater accountability. This paper reports on the findings from current original research that investigates accountability policies and internal controls in UK museums of varied types and sizes. Data concerning the actual implementation of accountability measures, and information about museum professionals’ points of view on their accountability responsibilities can enable museum regulators, advocates, and professional development groups to better assist museums. Policies and procedures, including evaluating board member conflicts of interest, establishing a code of ethics, and conducting financial audits, are recommended to prevent abuse of power delegated by stakeholders.

Keywords: Ethics, Public Trust, Governance, Accountability

The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp.71-78. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 310.047KB).

Dr Katherine Groninger

Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, USA

Dr. Groninger specializes in ethical standards and fiscal transparency in British and American museums. She completed her doctorate on museum accountability at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, and holds degrees in art history from Princeton University and in arts administration from New York University. Professionally, Kate has spoken at international museum conferences, published in museum journals, and worked in the US nonprofit arts industry, most recently at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

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