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  This module is a resource for lecturers  

 

Introduction

 

This Module gives an overview of the most common acts and manifestations of corruption in the public sector. To better understand why public sector corruption occurs, the Module discusses theoretical frameworks such as the principal agent, collective action, institutional and game theories. As public sector corruption perverts powers and resources intended to directly benefit the public, it is crucial - for the purpose of guarding public welfare - that there are effective controls and accountability mechanisms to reduce corruption risks in the public sector. The Module discusses such measures, including how to design public institutions and processes in a manner that limits the incentives and opportunities for corruption. It includes specific discussions on public procurement and state-owned enterprises (SOEs), two areas of the public sector that are especially vulnerable to corruption. The Module distinguishes between public sector corruption, i.e. corruption that primarily abuses government resources, and private sector corruption, i.e. corruption that primarily abuses private or commercial resources. Private sector corruption is discussed in Module 5 of the E4J University Module Series on Anti-Corruption, and this Module draws to some extent on that discussion. The present Module also draws on the discussions on good governance, detection of corruption and national anti-corruption frameworks that appear, respectively, in Module 2, Module 6 and Module 13 of the E4J University Module Series on Anti-Corruption. It furthermore builds on the discussions regarding public integrity and ethics in Module 13 of the E4J University Module Series on Integrity and Ethics.

 

Learning outcomes

 
  • Describe the acts and manifestations of public sector corruption
  • Understand the causes and consequences of public sector corruption, and the role of a culture of corruption as a cause and consequence of corruption
  • Critique different responses and measures to address and prevent public sector corruption
  • Explain the difference between public and private sector corruption
  • Apply theoretical frameworks such as the principal-agent, collective action, institutional and game theories to explain public sector corruption
  • Discuss corruption risks in the area of public procurement and in state-owned enterprises
 
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