E-Government and Transparency: The Degree of Interactivity and Openness of Italian Municipalities

E-Government and Transparency: The Degree of Interactivity and Openness of Italian Municipalities

Maria Cucciniello (Bocconi University, Italy), Greta Nasi (Bocconi University, Italy) and Raffaella Saporito (Bocconi University, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0086-7.ch013
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Governmental transparency is a highly regarded value, often studied by academics and emphasized by practitioners. In literature, transparency is discussed as a tool for enhancing the accountability of governments, as a principle to be implemented in order to reduce corruption in public administration, and as a means for making information on government performance more readily available. This chapter drafts a framework aimed at measuring the degree of governmental transparency and interactivity based on the multiple dimensions of information published on the institutional websites of municipalities. The framework has been tested on a purposive sample composed of the 21 municipalities in Italy’s regional capital cities. The results show that they primarily display information about what they do, how they use resources, whereas acknowledgement of government performance with regard to service delivery is still scarce.
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2. Background

In recent years, interest among the international community with regard to government transparency has increased, becoming paramount for academics, policy makers and public managers to be addressed in their priorities.

This trend is linked to four main factors:

  • The birth and growth of organizations operating on a global scale;

  • The explosion of information technology, which has fundamentally changed the way we interact in today’s society;

  • The attention paid to issues of international security,

  • The third wave of democratization of the movement leading to the end of the Cold War (Relly & Sabharwal, 2009; UNDP 2004).

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