Challenges of e-Disclosure in Romanian Local Public Authorities

Challenges of e-Disclosure in Romanian Local Public Authorities

Adriana Tiron Tudor (Babes-Bolyai University, Romania), Adina Simona Popa (University “Eftimie Murgu” of Resita, Romania) and Rodica Gabriela Blidisel (West University from Timisoara, Romania)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-159-1.ch013


There is a growing pressure on governments to broaden the scope of their financial responsibilities from accounting to accountability. Therefore, local public authorities (LPA) must provide clear, understandable and reliable information and should increase their transparency as part of their policy of good governance practice. Starting from the international context of good corporate governance characteristics, this chapter examines the implication level of the Internet in Romanian LPA as a tool of transparency improvement for the citizen’s use. Due to the pivotal role played by citizens in participatory governance, the chapter analyzes the information disclosed by LPA websites focusing mainly on the financial information, as the financial resources have a special role in the local development and represent the base for a prompt reply to the citizen’s needs. The final part proposes a Romanian LPA good e-governance model as well as e-disclosure improvements for citizen’s trust in LPA information.
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In recent years, important changes have occurred in the way central and local governments act in relation with citizens. Governance has evolved in this time from hierarchical bureaucracy to participatory governance, where the role of citizens in public decision-making process is more direct. Romania, a young democracy reborn over the iron curtain of socialism, passed during the last decade through a reform of the public sector. Starting with the reform of the public management, both at central and at local level, the Romanian public sector has further passed through the public financial reform, especially through the law regarding the local public finances. Moreover, as regards the Romanian public accounting, accrual accounting (in accordance with International Public Sector Accounting Standards) was put into practice both at the local government and the central government levels starting in January 2006.

Starting from the recent reforms in Romanian public sector, our chapter focuses on the development of local government taking into account the relation with citizens, accountability for the management and control of public resources as well as the delivery of services and its transparency.

The chapter is organized in five sections. After this introduction, Section Two provides an overview of the evolution of governance models, public good governance concept and main characteristics and aspects related with good governance in the information age. Section Three begins with the introduction to the context of Romanian local public administration system, in particular the citizens’ role, and the role of service users and Civil Society in Romanian LPA governance. Also, this section examines two of the characteristics of good governance: accountability and transparency as they are understood and implemented by Romanian LPA. The level of internet disclosure of Romanian LPA is measured and a regression model is built to determine if variables including city’s revenues, citizen’s participation and citizen’s financial recommendation are influencing the level of e-disclosure of the LPA. Section Four proposes a model of good e-governance for Romanian LPA based on the results of the research performed in the previous section. Finally, the chapter concludes with a summary of the findings and recommendations.

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