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U4 Helpdesk Answer

Corruption risks in tax administration, external audits and national statistics

There are a number of approaches to identify corruption risks in different settings. This Helpdesk Answer adopts a value chain analysis, which conceives of a sector in terms of the processes required to produce and deliver public goods and services. It then considers the value chain in the sectors of interest at three levels: policymaking, organisational resources and client interface. Corruption risks at the policymaking level include political corruption, undue influence by private firms and interference by other arms of the state. At the level of organisational resources, possible risks include fraud, embezzlement and the development of patronage networks. Finally, at the client interface, the most common risks relate to bribery and extortion.

4 November 2018
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Corruption risks in tax administration, external audits and national statistics

Main points

  • Value chain analysis is a useful way to map corruption risks at sector level (Campos and Pradhan 2007).
  • Risks can be characterised according to whether they occur at the stages of policymaking, organisational resources or client interface along the value chain.
  • To gain meaningful insights, it is necessary to go beyond high-level mappings of corruption risks and conduct bespoke appraisals of different sectoral value chains.

Cite this publication

Jenkins, M.; (2018) Corruption risks in tax administration, external audits and national statistics. Bergen: U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, Chr. Michelsen Institute (U4 Helpdesk Answer 2018:13)

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About the author

Matt Jenkins is a Research and Knowledge Manager at Transparency International, where he runs the Anti-Corruption Helpdesk, an on-demand bespoke research service for civil society activists and development practitioners. Jenkins specialises in anti-corruption evaluations and evidence reviews, he has produced studies for the OECD and the GIZ, and has worked at the European Commission and think tanks in Berlin and Hyderabad.


All views in this text are the author(s)’, and may differ from the U4 partner agencies’ policies.

This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)