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A person or body who can be held accountable for carrying out a duty is considered responsible. 

In the context of tort law, it may refer to a party who caused injury, and is therefore synonymous with liable

In the context of contract law, it may refer to a party who is contractually bound to perform a duty, such as compensate another party for their goods or services, perform an act, or discharge a debt

In the context of administrative agencies, an agency is responsible to the body who delegated the power to the agency, normally Congress.  

In the context of agency law, the agent’s duties to the principal make the agency responsible to the principal. 

[Last updated in April of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]