Government and Municipality Accountability
In many countries, local governments are facing similar challenges and choices. Not least among these are the debates about the fundamental role of local government in the provision of local (often taken for granted) services and in relation to local governments’ share of, and impact on, the national economy. Those debates are reflected in the enduring tensions generated by periodic changes to the functional scope and powers of local authorities including their autonomy from national (and state) governments. That tension is further exacerbated by restraints on the ability of local authorities to raise funding and their resultant reliance on national (or state) allocations and grants. Like all forms of government, therefore, local authorities must make, often, difficult, decisions about what services can and cannot be provided or, if provided, how they are to be funded.
In the context of having to make those difficult choices, local authorities are also attempting to increase engagement with their electorates to both encourage greater local consultation and citizen participation in decision making and, ultimately, to improve often low voter turnout in local elections.
The papers in this ebook explore these challenges and their impacts on local government funding, decision making, accounting and accountability."