Operating within the boundaries of legislation, accountability and personal agendas: A study on financial sustainability in Catalan municipalities Sotirios Karatzimas

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Uploaded by Sotirios Karatzimas     Uploaded date: June 25, 2019    
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Publication date
June 25, 2019
Paper language
Abstract
Purpose
The purpose of this paper is to examine and compare the views of mayors and comptrollers of Catalan municipalities on aspects related to the Spanish legislation on financial sustainability – its usefulness and necessity of maintaining, its impact on citizens’ welfare and alternative proposals. The setting is rather interesting as strict rules are imposed by a legislation criticized of mimicking European Commission policies, on well-performing municipalities, in light of the recent “independency” conflict.

Design/methodology/approach
The study uses insights from the public choice theory and the concept of accountability to draw a framework that could explain the perceptions of mayors and comptrollers. The views of the two groups are captured with the use of an online questionnaire.

Findings
The results indicate that while the application of strict rules has borne fruit, this trend is not sustainable in the long run and a careful reconsideration is required. Accordingly, both groups express concerns on citizens’ future welfare. It moreover appears that in this particular setting, mayors’ and comptrollers’ sense of accountability toward citizens exceed their personal interests.

Originality/value
This study provides empirical evidence on the impact of strict budget stability and sustainability rules on the long-term financial sustainability of local governments from the point of view of mayors and municipality comptrollers who are called to implement them.
Preferred Citation
Sotirios Karatzimas, Carles Griful Miquela, (2019) "Operating within the boundaries of legislation, accountability and personal agendas: A study on financial sustainability in Catalan municipalities", Meditari Accountancy Research, Vol. 27 Issue: 3, pp.346-365, https://doi.org/10.1108/MEDAR-02-2018-0284
Keywords
Accountability; Municipalities; Financial sustainability; Local government; Mayors; Municipality comptrollers; Public choice theory
Email
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Category
Other
Type of Paper
Published paper

How to get the paper

From the journal
https://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/full/10.1108/MEDAR-02-2018-0284

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