This paper aims to investigate whether the key items encompassed in the new reporting trends are addressed in the current reporting set and, also, whether there are certain patterns regarding disclosure practices across a sample of reporting entities.
The research methodology takes into consideration both the financial and non-financial elements from the entities’ activities and embeds them in the analysis, in a more holistic frame offered by integrated reporting. The disclosure level is investigated using the six-tier capital model from the International Integrated Reporting Council Framework and the eight major principles from GRI guidelines. Furthermore, the cluster analysis is used to identify the disclosure practices patterns within some European Union local public administrations.
The level of disclosure within the analyzed entities is relatively high. Also, the results of the cluster analysis reveal some disclosure patterns, especially regarding the Anglo-Saxon and Northern local public administrations, the municipalities with the highest degree of disclosure of the sample.
The most significant limitations are represented by the sample of municipalities, the language filter and the fact that only one-year data were considered for analysis.
The study can be useful to any other institutions under the dome of the public sector, willing to enhance public accountability throughout greater transparency. Also, it might help the public managers to outline a long-term development plan about how to create value and to whom, material issues, risks and strategy through the integrated reporting, a cornerstone for future changes. Moreover, it might also be a subject of interest in the research environment, offering new opportunities for further empirical studies, by applying and testing it in other public organizations.
The study provides an original assessment tool useful to improving the reporting process. Also, it can be useful to other public institutions that are willing to enhance public accountability throughout greater transparency.
This work was financed with the support of the Executive Agency Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation Funding and the National Scientific Research Council, through the Human Resources Programme, project code: PN-II-RU-TE-2014-4- 0265.
Nistor, C.S., Stefanescu, C.A., Oprisor, T. and Crisan, A.R. (2019), "Approaching public sector transparency through an integrated reporting benchmark", Journal of Financial Reporting and Accounting, Vol. 17 No. 2, pp. 249-270. https://doi.org/10.1108/JFRA-06-2017-0048Download as .RIS
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