Public Finance Quarterly Archive Articles

Integrity Risks and Controls of Public Services

15:17, június 10, 2018.

Erzsébet Németh
University Professor,
Budapest Metropolitan University,
Director, State Audit Office of Hungary

Bettina Martus
PhD, economist, analyst,
Project Manager, State Audit Office of Hungary,
Assistant University Lecturer, Corvinus University of Budapest

Bálint Tamás Vargha
lawyer, analyst,
State Audit Office of Hungary

Published in: Public Finance Quarterly 2018/2. (p. 155-175.)

Summary: 2017 marks the seventh year that the State Audit Office of Hungary conducted an Integrity Survey evaluating the corruption risks of public sector institutions and the availability of integrity controls ensuring protection against corruption. 3346 organisations provided data for the research. This study examines the integrity situation of public services. 64% of the institutions which responded provide public services. According to the results of the research, the provision of chargeable services, the possibility of exercising equity and the excess demand for the services carry significant integrity risks. Integrity is supported by the fact that in the case of cash benefit, an official handover document is usually drawn up and the majority of the institutions appropriately regulate the issue of conflict of interest. However, only one third of the institutions has established a system for supporting complaints and whistleblowing. In addition, particularly in case of organisations where demand permanently exceeds supply, the inappropriate regulation of the acceptance of gifts, invitations and travels draws the attention to a major deficiency within public sector integrity.

Keywords: integrity controls and risks, public services

JEL-codes: H830, K4, K420

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