Political Clientelism, Wasting Our Money
Political Clientelism, Wasting Our Money

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Authors:

Sorin Ionita, Radu Comsa, Suzana Dobre, Otilia Nutu

Organisation and country:

Expert Forum, Romania

Description:

Political Clientelism, Wasting Our Money was based on a research conducted by Expert Forum on discretionary use of public money. The research analyzed the central and local budgets (2004-2011), extracting data about seven financial mechanisms such as programs for water and sewage, reserve and emergency funds. These mechanisms were selected observing how precise or, by contrary, vague were the allocation criteria, as provided by the law and thus allowing discretionary decisions. We checked if allocations were correlated with the political affiliations of local leaders. The analysis revealed a strong bias towards mayors from the same party with the central government and independent mayors, especially in electoral years. This indicates the use of public funding for gaining electoral support from local level for parties in power. This happens in the context of a very weak financial power at local level. Many administrations (especially rural area)are unable to cover even their staff costs from regular revenues and therefore are heavily dependent on the arbitrary allocations from the centre. The conclusion is that better monitoring of public allocations and, even more important, the administrative reforms (administrative mergers) are key issues to decrease the clientelistic use of public money. The visual aimed to explain to a public interested in good governance but with average knowledge about budgets, how the entire clietelistic network functions. Since July, the film (Ro) had 4,800 views (Youtube). On Facebook, more than 16,000 people saw the post (with no paid promotion)and about 90 people shared it.

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