Critical factors influencing information disclosure in public organisations

Paper by Francisca Tejedo-Romero & Joaquim Filipe Ferraz Esteves Araujo: “Open government initiatives around the world and the passage of freedom of information laws are opening public organisations through information disclosure to ensure transparency and encourage citizen participation and engagement. At the municipal level, social, economic, and political factors are found to account for this trend. However, the findings on this issue are inconclusive and may differ from country to country. This paper contributes to this discussion by analysing a unitary country where the same set of laws and rules governs the constituent municipalities. It seeks to identify critical factors that affect the disclosure of municipal information. For this purpose, a longitudinal study was carried out over a period of 4 years using panel data methodology. The main conclusions seem to point to municipalities’ intention to increase the dissemination of information to reduce low levels of voter turnout and increase civic involvement and political participation. Municipalities governed by leftist parties and those that have high indebtedness are most likely to disclose information. Additionally, internet access has created new opportunities for citizens to access information, which exerts pressure for greater dissemination of information by municipalities. These findings are important to practitioners because they indicate the need to improve citizens’ access to the Internet and maintain information disclosure strategies beyond election periods…(More)”.