Transparency and Quality of Information on Local Administration Websites. Study of the Spanish Case




public communication, citizen participation, internet, transparency, city councils


This article analyses the information and content of Spanish local administration websites following the application of the Law of Transparency. The aim is to analyze in depth issues related to the information available on political representatives, the management of economic resources, information on the municipality and the tools citizens have at their disposal for their participation. The quantitative method analyses the transparency of the city councils individually from a table of widely compared 52 variables (indicators), validating their compliance or not with each during the period February to November 2018. The sample analyzed in this study consists of 605 Spanish municipalities. Although within academic literature debate already exists that focuses primarily on theoretical abstractions, this study allows us to empirically determine whether after the national approval of transparency regulation there really has been an improvement in public information for citizens to be able to hold their local governments accountable. The results indicate that, based on regional and national transparency policies, the situation is better than in the years prior to the law, although there is still much room for improvement, especially in issues related to information regarding the management of economic resources such as budgets, salaries, hiring and subsidies.

Author Biographies

Nuria Simelio, Department of Journalism and Communication Studies. Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona

Associate Professor Department of Journalism and Communication Studies UAB

Francisco Javier Herrero Gutiérrez, Universidad de Salamanca

Assistant Professor. Department of Sociology and Communication. University of Salamanca

Pedro Molina Rodríguez-Navas, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona

Assistant Professor. Department of Audiovisual Communication and Advertising. Faculty of Communication. Autonomous University of Barcelona




How to Cite

Simelio, N., Herrero Gutiérrez, F. J., & Molina Rodríguez-Navas, P. (2020). Transparency and Quality of Information on Local Administration Websites. Study of the Spanish Case. Observatorio (OBS*), 14(4).