Some Determinants of the Existence of Government Websites in 853 Municipalities in Minas Gerais, Brazil

This study evaluates whether 853 municipalities of Minas Gerais have developed one specific strategy of electronic government. We searched for municipalities that have websites for the executive branch, relating this information to a number of secondary data. These data include variables on the Municipal Human Development Index (HDI-M), municipal budgetary revenues, year of founding of municipalities, the mayor’s party affiliation, and a public policy initiative related to the creation of municipal executive branch websites. This analysis was performed to develop descriptive statistics among the variables collected. In addition to exploring descriptive analysis, we attempted to determine statistical models that explain the existence of websites for municipal executives. This allowed us to determine whether municipalities that were established earlier than others, have the highest HDI-M, and have larger budgets are also more likely to have websites. The results indicate that older municipalities, as well as those with higher HDI-M and elevated budgetary revenues, are more likely to have websites. A mayor’s party affiliation indicates that municipalities administered by the Workers’ Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores, or PT, the center-left-wing party) are more likely to have websites than municipalities governed by the Brazilian Social Democratic Party (Partido da Social Democracia Brasileira, or PSDB, the center-right-wing party). Furthermore, municipalities that use the state government program Integraminas (Connect Minas) are less likely to have their own websites, which is an indication that these locations are using policy resources to communicate electronically with the population. Thus, newly founded municipalities with low HDI-M, with low budgetary revenue, and administered by center-right-wing parties may benefit from public policies that encourage greater transparency in the communication of municipal executives with their population.