Local Governments in the Digital Era: Looking for Accountability



Series: Media and Communications – Technologies, Policies and Challenges
BISAC: LAW096000

Accountability is essential for good governance, so it is important to provide means and measures needed to enable citizens to assess the legal and managerial responsibility of governments, especially at the local level, since it is the closest to citizens. This publication is especially focused on transparency as a way to achieve more accountable governments. The availability of reliable and timely information about public policies and governmental actions to citizens is essential to avoid dishonest behavior and fraudulent use of public resources by governments, which have led to corruption scandals in recent years.

This book highlights the role of digital technologies to improve responsibility and awareness of governments at the local level. The use of the internet and social media may facilitate the citizens’ participation in local governments, as it may be considered as a way to improve transparency and reduce politicians discretionary. Digital technologies play a fundamental role in promoting electronic government or e-government, which is extensively implemented around the world. In addition, this book refers to reforms on how financial resources are managed by public organizations, and how changes affect accounting, budgeting, structural organization, management systems, and/or law systems that may lead local governments to be more accountable and responsible. (Imprint: Nova)

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. The Transparency Society and Its Impact: The Case of Spanish Local Governments
Isabel Brusca and Vicente Montesinos (University of Zaragoza, Spain, and others)

Chapter 2. Accountability in Italian Local Governments: State of the Art and Future Perspective
Davide Giacomini (Department of Economics and Management, University of Brescia, Italy)

Chapter 3. The Citizens’ Report as Tool of Financial Accountability for Local Governments
Fabio De Matteis and Daniela Preite (Università del Salento – Lecce, Italy, and others)

Chapter 4. The Democratic Participation of Local Governments: A Survey on Italian Local Governments Web Sites
Natalia Aversano and Francesca Manes Rossi (Department of Mathematics, Computer Science and Economics – University of Basilicata, Italy, and others)

Chapter 5. Online Transparency on European Local Government Sustainability: Focusing on Accountability
Francisco J. Alcaraz-Quiles, David Ortiz-Rodríguez and Andrés Navarro-Galera (University of Granada, Spain)

Chapter 6. Factors Influencing Citizen Engagement via Facebook: An Empirical Study of Provincial Councils in Spain
Alejandro Sáez-Martín, Laura Saraite, Antonio M. López-Hernández and Carmen Caba-Pérez (University of Almería, Spain, and others)

Chapter 7. From Legal Transparency to Good Governance in the Spanish Municipalities
Javier Suárez-Pandiello and Roberto Fernández-Llera, Javier Suárez Pandiello, and Roberto Fernández Llera (University of Oviedo, Spain, and others)

Chapter 8. A Methodological Proposal to Measure Transparency in Spain: ITA and STI Rankings Compared
Juan C. Garrido-Rodríguez, Antonio M. López Hernández and José L. Zafra-Gómez (University of Granada, Spain)

Chapter 9. Functioning of Rural Local Governments in India: A Critical Appraisal of Devolution Status and Accountability Systems
M. Gopinath Reddy (Centre for Economic and Social Studies (CESS), Hyderabad, India)

Chapter 10. Transparency, Accountability and Fighting Corruption: A Model on Whistle-Blowing Processes
Marco Bisogno, Giancarlo Nota and Mario Ianulardo (Department of Management & Innovation Systems – University of Salerno – Italy, and others)

Chapter 11. Accountable to Whom? Data Transparency, Depoliticisation and the Myth of the Market in English Local Government
Peter Eckersley and Laurence Ferry (Newcastle University, UK, and others)

Chapter 12. Inter-Organizational Accountability in Public Services and Budget Cut-Backs
Enrico Bracci (University of Ferrara – Department of Economics and Management – Italy)

Chapter 13. Transparency and Accountability in Municipalities: An Analysis of 40 Year Evolution in Portugal
Rui Pedro Lourenço, Patrícia Moura e Sá and Susana Jorge (INESC-Coimbra and Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal, and others)

Chapter 14. The Influence of Traditional Accounting Systems on Internet Financial Reporting by Local Government Authorities
Mª Inmaculada Martínez-González, Ana Cárcaba-García and Antonio López-Díaz (University of Oviedo, Spain)

Chapter 15. Local Government Cash Management Practices
Francesca Citro (Department of Management & Innovation Systems, University of Salerno, Italy)


Researchers with interest on public administration (researchers in business schools, faculties, research centers, etc.)
Public administration staff, especially policy makers (parliamentarians, Mayors and Aldermen, economic advisers, Think Tanks, etc.).
Citizens with some knowledge on public administration who are interested on these issues.


“Corruption cases that many governments are suffering nowadays have public opinion to focus on topics such as transparency, citizens’ participation in governments, and accountability (in general). Thus, this book is really contributing to real problems in society. The assumption of responsibility for public policies and political decisions encompasses the obligation to reporting, leading to transparent governments. Citizens increasingly demand information about the use of resources that they are providing, and this publication contributes to understand how accountability plays a fundamental role for good governance.” -José-Valeriano Frías-Aceituno, PhD. University of Granada

“Transparency actions carried out by local governments have the fundamental principle direct combat to corruption. Transparency and access to public information should be considered as one of the most significant in the democratization of the current government steps. Therefore, this book touches one of the most important and sensitive issues that face any public administration.” – Mtr. Eleazar Trejo Trejo. Deputy Director of Analysis and Economic Impact Results. Ministry of Economic Development of Mexico City

“This book is a perfect reference nowadays because of it is focused on a very fashion topic: accountability, understood in terms of transparency and citizens’ participation in local governments. Political issues and public sector topics are of interest of public opinion. Given accountability is essential for good governance, this publication contributes at that respect. I think it will be used as a referent in public administration because accountability and transparency are fundamental topics in future governments.” -Jennifer Martínez-Ferrero, PhD. University of Salamanca

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