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The “need to know” and the lack of online transparency among political parties

Beatriz Cuadrado-Ballesteros (Facultad de Economía y Empresa, University of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain)
Luis Andrés Vaquero-Cacho (Facultad de Economía y Empresa, University of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain)

Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy

ISSN: 1750-6166

Article publication date: 16 March 2015

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to analyse the level of informative transparency among Spanish political parties and political foundations, according to general and descriptive information (e.g. contact, ideas and values, electoral programmes, members, etc.) and economic, governance and financial information.

Design/methodology/approach

The situation of the parties in each year is represented by a biplot, which is a graphical representation of a multivariate sample. The data for this analysis were obtained from the reports published by Fundación Compromiso y Transparencia (Foundation for Integrity and Transparency) for 2011 and 2012.

Findings

This paper evidences the existence of serious problems of opacity, especially in relation to financial information (balance sheet, income statement, annual accounts and audit report) and information on the fulfilment of goals and programmes (management report and compliance report).

Originality/value

This is the first attempt to analyse statistically the level of transparency of political parties and foundations, showing the need for a robust control system and for mechanisms to penalise conduct that limits citizens’ access to public information.

Keywords

Citation

Cuadrado-Ballesteros, B. and Vaquero-Cacho, L.A. (2015), "The “need to know” and the lack of online transparency among political parties", Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, Vol. 9 No. 1, pp. 85-103. https://doi.org/10.1108/TG-09-2014-0039

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited