This Institute for Government report identifies oversight, regulation, inspection and scrutiny as the different forms of accountability. In ancient Greece, as opposed to modern bureaucracies, there was relatively little regulation or oversight: offices were defined with few rules or regulations. Officeholders were expected to simply get on with the job. No overarching civil service bureaucratic management structure existed to oversee them.
Yet the ancient Greeks engaged in a tremendous amount of inspection and scrutiny about government and integrity in public life. They adopted mechanisms that made relationships of accountability – through active public scrutiny – alive and intensive.