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Anti-Corruption Measures in Public Establishment

Norma Gorrochategui

The aim of this paper is to disclose some of the factors present in public organisations with potential for corruption and to develop preventive measures involving individuals in the public sector. The paper begins with the "lessons learned" from the Argentinean case, offering a brief analysis of the reforms over the last 15 years, and a comparison of some strategies used under the name of state reform and the proposals to fight corruption. The existence of "grey zones" -with particulars that vary according each organisation and are composed of incoherence, vagueness, vacuum, or rule or procedure redundancies resulting in corruption- is posed. An analysis is made of the chance of corruption in public organisations, particularly concerning privileged factors, inter-sector factors and the factors arising out of some organisational variables.

The privilege factor is linked to some basic elements of corruption -monopoly and discretion- that are associated to secrecy. Activities more prone to corruption include: licensing and clearance, public procurement and bidding, customs, duties, police, immigration.

Inter-sector factors include under-laying, unresolved debates resulting from the confluence of different sectors and the public sector. At the crossroad of political, economic and public sectors the debate involves the division between policy and management. At the crossroad of private and public sectors, the debate deals with the best way to limit the businessmen' and officials' desire to obtain benefits.

Organisational factors are, namely: playing down the value of public service; lack of socialisation and transformation of organisational identity. The incongruity in organisational aims is shown by the downplaying of social goals, the distance between the proposed and actual objectives, the weakened mission of the organisation and deviation of it`s organisational aims. With regard to the structure, some factors resulting in corruption conditions include: the incongruity between the structural design and appraising orientations; a weak design of side links, and low formalisation of behaviour.

Organisational awareness is a preventative, highly participatory tool that fits in the framework of vulnerability appraisal, aimed at identifying the organisational grey zones and that should be proposed by the people involved. Such a proposal involves a clarifying, open and true explanation of the "possible, desired organisation" on the space-time conditions of the organisation's activities.

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