GOVERNANCE, TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY AT LOCAL GOVERNMENT LEVEL: BUDGET TRANSPARENCY OF MACEDONIAN MUNICIPALITIES

Vesna Garvanlieva Andonova, Marjan Nikolov, Ana Marija Petrovska

Abstract


The transparency strengthens the credibility of the government policies and improves fiscal discipline while at the same time enabling a platform for citizens’ satisfaction for the public services it provides, for participation of the citizens in the process of preparation of the public policies and an ultimately increased willingness to pay (more) for the public services. In essence, an effective local governments’ transparency is necessary for accountability and these are not an end in itself, but means to support effective and inclusive decision-making in the budgeting (national and local). The bottom-up participatory structures for enhancement of the local government transparency and accountability need to be enwoven in both the legal, political, and administrative tools for active involvement of the civic sector for participation. The legal and budgetary mechanism that enable contribution from the local communities/citizens are especially important for certain local government decisions in order to increase the accessibility to the general public i.e. the citizens at large. Furthermore, higher budget transparency enables informed public discussion and consensus on the government’s priorities, policies and programs while having a positive influence on the corrosive effect of corruption and inadequate accountability at the all government levels. Therefore, local governments’ transparency and accountability should not be viewed independently, but as a crucial part of the overall good governance and public management. This objective of this paper is to analyze the transparency of the local self-government units’ budgets and availability of the “main” budget process documents, their accessibility in order to determine whether there has been an improvement between fiscal 2014-2015 and fiscal 2016-2017.


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