As auditors, we strive to ensure that government functions fairly, efficiently, and effectively.  Auditing has long been one of the methods used to ensure that government is performing to expectations, and is part of a broader system of accountability that minimizes incidences of corruption and the misuse of public funds.

Despite these measures, it is frequently reported that trust in government has dropped to historic lows. State and local governments have retained higher levels of public trust than the federal government, but they have also seen declines in reported public trust since hitting a peak in 2001.

But is reported public trust a true indicator that something has gone wrong, or right? Is it something that we as auditors need to keep in mind as we go about our work?

In the following video, Onora O’Neill discusses trust, and it’s often ignored cousin, trustworthiness.