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Informed means that we must have all the information needed to make a good decision, and that information has to be accurate. It must include dissenting views, if applicable, and it must be validated as complete and accurate in whatever ways are possible. The more important the decision, the more careful we must be with formalizing the process of being "informed".

Accountable refers to the decision-makers. Each designated decision-maker has a duty to inform themselves, and to contribute information supporting dissenting views when appliable. Many times, people don't want to put their name on the dotted line; accountability highlights the role of the decision-maker in the governance process. A mature governance process will often encourge more willing participation because designated decision-makers feel confident that they are sufficiently informed and that there will be a record of what information was used to make the decisions.

Audit-worthy is self-explanatory: the governance process must be well-documented, categorized, tagged, secure and accessible. The most important decisions with the greatest impact are often the same ones that receive the most scrutiny when unexpected outcomes prompt reviews. Building audit-worthiness into the governance process from the beginning is a foundational element of high-integrity governance.

Barbara Nadalini Priesnitz

Barbara Nadalini Priesnitz is the principal consultant at Managed Governance LLC. 

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