Corruption in government agencies

The exertion of unlawful influence on insiders

This study focuses on corruption that seeks to influence the core domain of the work of public sector agencies – the exercise of public authority.

This study focuses on corruption that seeks to influence the core domain of the work of public sector agencies – the exercise of public authority.

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While practitioners and researchers now have a comprehensive picture of unlawful influence in the form of threats, violence and extortion, research on corruption remains limited. For this reason, the current study focuses on corruption that seeks to influence the core domain of the work of public sector agencies – the exercise of public authority.

   In this setting, there are two main actors: the insider, who is an official at a public sector agency, and an offender on the outside with links to economic or organized crime. Their corruptive interaction occurs when the insider has an improper relationship with the offender and where this relationship benefits the offender’s illegal activities. In this regard, the form of corruption studied here differs from the type of corruption that is generally associated with public sector agencies, namely that linked to the procurement of goods and services, where the agency acts in the same way any other purchaser.

   Furthermore, the offences covered by the study concern more qualified types of crime. The economic and organized crimes included in the study are both characterized by a high level of organization. There is a hierarchical division of labour associated with the crime and the criminal activities are relatively long-term (Korsell, Skinnari and Vesterhav 2009, Brå 2005:11, Ruggiero 2012, Larsson 2008, cf. Kleemans and van de Bunt 2008). The economic crimes are characterized by an insider who cooperates with one or more offenders on the “outside”.

   Through the study of this phenomenon, and of how corruption is utilised by offenders in the fields of economic and organized crime, the objective of the study is to increase our knowledge of serious corruption offences and the damage these produce, and to develop preventive and counteractive measures to enable public sector agencies to better protect themselves.


About the publication

Authors: Johanna Skinnari, Emma Ekdahl and Lars Korsell
Year of publ: 2014

Report No: 2014:4
URN:NBN: urn:nbn:se:bra-537

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