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Functional Decentralization In Portuguese Local Governments

PAQ, Vol. 40 No. 1, (2016)

As a result of the dramatic growth in functional decentralization processes in Portuguese municipalities, this study examines public services delivery in the 308 Portuguese local governments existing in 2011. By using Biplot analyses, the aim of this study is to analyse the Portuguese functional decentralization processes by population ranges and service type. The results show that functional decentralization is more often used in the largest cities, mainly because of the need to meet citizens? demands and moreover, the opportunistic use by politicians since they could transfer part of the expenditure and debt to these newly created agencies. In addition, the results show that water, urban planning, cultural and economic services are the most decentralized. By contrast, decentralized agencies are not used for the provision of health services in any municipality, and protection, social and environment services are decentralized in very few municipalities.

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