Digital Government and Corruption: The Impact of Citizen Oversight and InfObras on the Efficiency of the Execution of Public Works in Peru

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Nov 2020
Digital government and citizen oversight initiatives have increased in number in recent years. Governments have increased the numbers of virtual platforms that display data on public works, and citizens have increased their voluntary participation in low-cost monitoring of these works. However, there is scarce literature on the effectiveness of these initiatives. This study aims to contribute to the limited evidence on the impact of citizen oversight in light of the above-mentioned digital government initiatives. The study uses a regression discontinuity analysis to evaluate the effect of the Citizen Oversight Monitors Program (Programa de Monitores Ciudadanos de Control - MCC) of Perus Office of the Comptroller. Using public sources of administrative information and data from the InfObras platform of the Office of the Comptroller1 and the Investment Consultation (Consulta de Inversión) ( application of the Ministry of Economy and Finance2, the study examines the effects of the MCC on the costs and execution times of public works in Peru. The findings suggest that although there is a significant impact in terms of reducing cost overruns for works outsourced to construction firms, there are no significant effects on results in terms of execution times of the works.