E-Government Implementation: Transparency, Accessibility and Usability of Government Websites

  • Francisco J. Alcaraz-Quiles
  • Elena Urquia-Grande
  • Clara I. Muñoz-Colomina
  • Antti Rautiainen


In several European countries decentralization has promoted the creation of Regional Governments (RGs) with high levels of competence and responsibilities, such as promoting good governance and sustainability. Information and communication technologies (ICTs), and hence, the adoption of e-government has contributed to the adoption and dissemination of government transparency in a usable and accessible way. In this chapter, we study the transparency, accessibility and usability of websites of Spanish RGs.

As a first step, we want to know if the implementation of e-government has improved transparency about sustainability. In a second step, we want to know if citizens perceive the advantages of the use of governmental websites as a medium of transparency assessing the accessibility and usability of RG’s websites. The results show that the most information disclosed is environmental information. Furthermore, RGs information disclosure is determined by citizens’ perception of accessibility and usability.


  1. Alcaraz-Quiles, F. J., Navarro-Galera, A., & Ortiz-Rodríguez, D. (2014). A comparative analysis of transparency in sustainability reporting by local and regional governments. Lex Localis - Journal of Self-Government, 12(1), 55–78.Google Scholar
  2. Alcaraz-Quiles, F. J., Navarro-Galera, A., & Ortiz-Rodríguez, D. (2015). Factors determining online sustainability reporting by local governments. International Review of Administrative Sciences, 81(1), 79–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Angluin, D., & Scapens, R. (2000). Transparency, accounting knowledge and perceived fairness in UK universities’ resource allocation: Results from a survey of accounting and finance. British Accounting Review, 32(1), 1–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bäck, H., Debus, M., Müller, J., & Bäck, H. (2013). Regional government formation in varying multilevel contexts: A comparison of eight European countries. Regional Studies, 47(3), 368–387.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bannister, F., & Connolly, R. (2014). ICT, public values and transformative government: A framework and programme for research. Government Information Quarterly, 31(1), 119–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bastida, F., & Benito, B. (2007). Central government budget practices and transparency: An international comparison. Public Administration, 85(3), 667–716.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bertot, J. C., Jaeger, P. T., & Grimes, J. M. (2010). Using ITCs to create a culture of transparency: E-government and social media as openness and anti-corruption tools for societies. Government Information Quarterly, 27, 264–271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Charron, N. (2016). Quality of government, regional autonomy and cohesion policy allocations to EU regions. In S. Piattoni & L. Polverari (Eds.), Handbook on cohesion policy in the EU (pp. 92–106). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing Limited.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Colomer, J. M. (1998). The Spanish “State of autonomies”: Non-institutional federalism. West European Politics, 21(4), 40–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Council of Europe. (2011). Council Directive 2011/85/EU of 8 November 2011 on requirements for budgetary frameworks of the Member States. Retrieved from
  11. Hines, R. (1988). Financial accounting: In communicating reality, we construct reality. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 13(3), 251–261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hood, C. (2007). What happens when transparency meets blame avoidance? Public Management Review, 9(2), 191–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hopwood, A. (1972). An empirical study of the role of accounting data in performance evaluation. Journal of Accounting Research, 10, 156–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. IGAE. (2013). Avance actuación económica y financiera de las Administraciones Públicas. Madrid: IGAE. Retrieved from Scholar
  15. International Transparency (IT). (2015). Índice de Transparencia de las CCAA. Retrieved from
  16. Jaeger, P. T., & Bertot, J. C. (2010). Transparency and technological change: Ensuring equal and sustained public access to government information. Government Information Quarterly, 27, 371–376.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Katz, J. E., & Rice, R. E. (2002). Social consequences of internet use: Access, involvement, and interaction. London: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  18. La Porte, T. M., Demchak, C. C., & de Jong, M. (2002). Democracy and bureaucracy in the age of the web. Empirical findings and theoretical speculations. Administration & Society, 34, 411–446.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. León, S. (2014). How does decentralization affect electoral competition of state-wide parties? Evidence from Spain. Party Politics, 20(3), 391–402.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lodhia, S., Jacobs, K., & Park, Y. J. (2012). Driving public sector environmental reporting. Public Management Review, 14(5), 631–647.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lourenço, I. C., Callen, J. L., Branco, M. C., & Curto, J. D. (2014). The value relevance of reputation for sustainability leadership. Journal of Business Ethics, 119(1), 17–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Meijer, A. J. (2007). Publishing public performance results on the Internet. Do stakeholders use the Internet to hold Dutch public service organisations to account? Government Information Quarterly, 24, 165–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Navarro-Galera, A., Alcaraz-Quiles, F. J., & Ortiz-Rodríguez, D. (2016). Online dissemination of information on sustainability in regional governments. Effects of technological factors. Government information Quarterly, 33(1), 53–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Ortiz-Rodríguez, D., Navarro-Galera, A., & Alcaraz-Quiles, F. J. (2015). The influence of administrative culture on sustainability transparency in European local governments. Administration and Society. doi: 10.1177/0095399715616838.
  25. Osborne, D., & Gaebler, T. (1992). Reinventing government: Go to the entrepreneurial spirit is transforming the public sector. New York: Penguin.Google Scholar
  26. Pina, V., Torres, L., & Royo, S. (2007). Are ICTs improving transparency and accountability in the EU regional and local governments? An empirical study. Public Administration, 85(2), 449–472.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Pina, V., Torres, L., & Royo, S. (2009). E-government evolution in EU local governments: A comparative perspective. Online Information Review, 33(6), 1137–1168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Roberts, J. (2009). No one is perfect: The limits of transparency and an ethic for ‘intelligent’ accountability. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 34(8), 957–970.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Rodríguez Bolivar, M. P., & Navarro Galera, A. (2007). Could fair value accounting be useful, under NPM models, for users of financial information? International Review of Administrative Sciences, 73(3), 473–502.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Rodríguez Bolívar, M. P., Alcaide Muñoz, L., & López Hernández, A. M. (2013). Determinants of financial transparency in government. International Public Management Journal, 16(4), 557–602.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Rodríguez-Posé, A., di Cataldo, M., & Rainoldi, A. (2014). The role of government institutions for smart specialisation and regional development. Luxembourg: Joint Research Centre.Google Scholar
  32. Sánchez, J. (2004). Introducción a la Estadística Empresarial. Retrieved from
  33. Verge, T. (2013). Party strategies on territorial reform: State-wide parties and the state of autonomies in Spain. West European Politics, 36(2), 317–337.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. World Commission. (1987). Report of the world commission on environment and development: Our common future. Retrieved from

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francisco J. Alcaraz-Quiles
    • 1
  • Elena Urquia-Grande
    • 2
  • Clara I. Muñoz-Colomina
    • 2
  • Antti Rautiainen
    • 3
  1. 1.University of GranadaGranadaSpain
  2. 2.University Complutense of MadridMadridSpain
  3. 3.Jyväskylä University School of Business and EconomicsJyväskyläFinland

Personalised recommendations