The Importance of Measuring Local Governments' Information Disclosure: Comparing Transparency Indices in Spain

Juan-Carlos Garrido-Rodríguez, Marta Garrido-Montañés, Germán López-Pérez, Elisabeth Zafra-Gómez
2022 Sustainability  
Transparency is considered a key element for developing a reliable government; it is the ability that all public entities have to provide access to all their information. The main objective of this work is to test the differences in the transparency of municipalities between the main indices and a new index made following the regulatory advances in this area at the national level. Called BTI, this new index aims to measure in the best possible way the degree of compliance of Spanish
more » ... es, through two dimensions (depth and breadth), which measure the quality and the quantity of the information. This work makes a comparison of the BTI with three of the main existing transparency indexes in Spain, to a sample of Spanish provincial capitals. The results obtained reveal clear differences between the indices, where three of the four indices analyzed show that most municipalities only fulfil the Transparency Act at the minimum level, with only a few municipalities reaching the maximum rating range. This work concludes that the BTI index is more demanding than the rest of the indexes. However, ITA stands out with a higher average score than the rest, which indicates that transparency portals are designed to obtain a good score in this index, being less objective. Finally, this paper remembers the importance of having an objective tool to measure transparency, as it can show notable differences with respect to reality.
doi:10.3390/su142013081 fatcat:chmf773g6ff3hkcsujcppr26ii