So what if the delegated authorities are not clear?

If an organisation’s delegated authorities are not clear to all decision-makers, they will not be followed.  In those circumstances there is little or no control over decision-making and as a result:

  • it is difficult for the organisation’s directors to gain assurance that the system of decision-making and accountability is adequate and working properly.  This increases the risk to their reputations if something does go wrong,
  • operational risk is increased through bad decisions being made by the wrong people without the right knowledge or organisational context,
  • risk is also increased when people are not properly empowered to do their jobs or fail to take accountability for their decisions, both of which occur when the delegations are not clear, and
  • decision-making is slow and inefficient.  People waste a lot of time working out who has authority to make decisions, or suffer from inertia, awaiting direction from above.  The owners of the delegated authorities waste unproductive time responding to low level administrative queries.
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