Transparency International

This Anti-Corruption Helpdesk brief was produced in response to a query from one of Transparency International’s national chapters. The Anti-Corruption Helpdesk is operated by Transparency International and funded by the European Union

Query

Could you provide information on international good practice in preventing corruption in social security service/institutions?

Purpose

We are invited to participate in an event organised by the national social security service for the anti-corruption day.

Content

  1. Corruption challenges in social security services
  2. Good governance principles for preventing corruption in social security services
  3. Examples of good practices and tools
  4. References

Summary

Social protection programmes channel a large amount of public resources, providing opportunities and incentives for corrupt and fraudulent practices. Integrity challenges in social security systems involve corruption in defining eligibility and enrolling beneficiaries, collusion, political patronage and clientelism, conflicts of interest, corruption in pension investment funds and fraud.

In OECD countries, corruption risks are perceived to be relatively low, and countries tend to focus their efforts on preventing, detecting and deterring fraud. The International Social Security Association (ISSA) has developed good governance guidelines that provide a broad framework for anti-corruption activities, framed around principles of accountability, transparency, predictability, participation and dynamism. A number of tools have also been implemented by various programmes, such as hotlines and portals to report abuse, random sample spot checks, information campaigns and training, and data matching.

The UK is considered to have been successful in controlling the prevalence of error, fraud and corruption, managing to cut by half the level of fraud in social protection programmes in the last two decades.

Authors

Marie Chêne, Transparency International, mchene@transparency.org

Date

30/11/2015

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