The effects of technology use on efficiency, transparency, and corruption in municipal governments: preliminary results from a citizen perspective

ABSTRACT:

The idea that government transparency is directly related to the use of technology was boosted when Barack Obama’s Transparency Memorandum was published in 2009. According to this view, the implementation of information technologies in government has significant effects on efficiency, transparency, and corruption, among other variables. However, it is not clear if citizens perceive these effects. Based on a pilot survey conducted in 2014, this study systematically examines the role of technology use and its effects on transparency, efficiency, and corruption in a Mexican municipal government. Our preliminary analysis suggests five distinctive variables within the technology use construct (ICT interaction; use of social media; use of chat, e-mail, and kiosks; mobile technology and security; and artificial intelligence and free Internet). Overall, the results seem to indicate that interactions between citizens and governments supported by emergent technologies improve citizens’ perceptions of transparency and efficiency. In contrast, we could not find supporting evidence regarding the effect of technology use on citizens’ perceptions of corruption.