Public Service and Corruption

  • Adam GraycarEmail author
Living reference work entry


Globally corruption costs governments and businesses trillions of dollars per year, it adds substantially to costs of goods and services, but most importantly it damages policy objectives and diminishes trust. Where there is lack of integrity or corruption, then public administration is deficient, and public value suffers.

This chapter outlines the types of corruption that exist in public administration. While in many poor countries bribery and kleptocracy feature in public policy, in rich countries bribery is very rare, but purchase of access to decision-making and conflict of interest are common patterns. Different intervention strategies are required depending on how the problem is diagnosed. Maladministration, misconduct, and corruption must be distinguished. In most cases what is needed is not more rules, but more integrity in practice. Developing strategies to enhance accountability and ensuring that these are adhered to are an ongoing challenge. Even if good processes are in place, slippage can occur; the chapter concludes with a framework for analysis of slippage in public service settings.


Corruption Misconduct Maladministration Integrity Instruments and processes 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Stretton InstituteUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Helen Sullivan
    • 1
  1. 1.Crawford School of Public PolicyAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

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