Public administration accountability on the social pillar of sustainable procurementa documentary analysis

  1. Rosa Fernández-Pérez 1
  2. Mercedes Luque-Vílchez 2
  1. 1 Universidad de Burgos

    Universidad de Burgos

    Burgos, España


  2. 2 Universidad de Córdoba

    Universidad de Córdoba

    Córdoba, España


Revista española de financiación y contabilidad

ISSN: 0210-2412

Year of publication: 2024

Issue Title: Accounting for the good: the role of accounting in fostering SDGs implementation and achievement in the public sector

Volume: 53

Issue: 1

Pages: 1-25

Type: Article

DOI: 10.1080/02102412.2022.2145008 DIALNET GOOGLE SCHOLAR

More publications in: Revista española de financiación y contabilidad

Sustainable development goals


This research analyses public administration accountability practices relating to the social pillar of sustainable public procurement. To that end, we carry out a content analysis of the social criteria (and the indicators applied to report on compliance therewith) incorporated into the procurement files produced by a Spanish regional government between 2017 and 2019, containing over 9,300 pages of contractual content. The results show a significant disconnect between current accountability practices and the promotion of sustainability. Worth noting in this sense is the confusion between criteria and indicators, the use of mere legal compliance unrelated to sustainable public procurement as ‘indicators’, and the fact that the few genuine sustainable public procurement indicators identified do not provide relevant information to determine compliance with the criteria. In this scenario, accounting misses an opportunity to play a mediating role in the implementation of sustainable practices such as those prescribed by the SDGs.

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