E-Government as an Instrument of Fiscal Accountability and Responsiveness: Do the best practitioners employ the best practices?
Fiscal transparency and citizen participation in budgeting processes are widely promoted as means toward the ends of democratic accountability and responsiveness in the allocation and use of public funds. In the past decade, academics and practitioners enthusiastic about e-government have emphasized the potential for using information technology to enhance democratic governance. Putting these two streams of public administration theory and practice together, the authors developed criteria for assessing e-budgeting efforts and applied them to a sample of Web sites operated by state and local governments. Although practitioners are ahead of academics in exploring the potential of e-government for improving fiscal accountability and responsiveness, practice lags behind the relevant basic recommendations of the Government Finance Officers Association. This finding leads to research and practice agendas aimed at enhancing the use of e-government to enhance fiscal transparency and participation.