Anti-corruption is a relatively recent policy which calls for controls. They represent the most effective means in rebalancing institutions which are not fully informed: ‘secrecy’, in fact, characterizes infringements and corrupt behaviour. Alongside criminal investigation, administrative controls and administrative investigation should be considered crucial because they intervene at early stages, when corruption has been developing, allowing real prevention. This article analyses some points that we should remember in order to connect controls and corruption correctly: first of all, controls have a hybrid nature: not only are they a way to combat or prevent corruption but also they are real occasions for corrupt transactions; furthermore, controls are a cost and administrative capacity of control is limited; moreover, planning controls is not a simple task; and finally, sanctions following controls must be effective in order to deter. The article also analyzes what is needed in matters of corruption controls, with special reference to good rules (aiming at a legal system with fewer but better rules, rules which work as incentives, rules capable of designing good institutions). There is also a need for good practices (in order to improve the understanding of corruption processes, to reduce controls, to cooperate in investigating cases of corruption). Finally, the article warns about the fact that corruption controls produce more bureaucracy and that early detection of corruption would mean, in this perspective, to make a diagnosis of ‘corruptibility’ starting from rules.
Maria De Benedetto (2015). Corruption and controls, in “European Journal of Law Reform”, issue 4. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF LAW REFORM, 17, 479-501.