The Prevention of Corruption and the Illusion of a Spotless Administration

By Monica Delsignore and Margherita Ramajoli

The paper critically analyses the current Italian system for prevention of corruption, to evaluate its impact on the improvement of administrative action. The emphasis on purity and ethics, together with the introduction of rules and regulations intended to guarantee the absence of corruption, conflicts of interest or external pressures, ends up exacerbating the structural and organizational causes that foster the malfunctioning of the administration. Corruption, however, is not the only cause of the current crisis in administration. Measures that are too strict or numerous may, in practice, undermine the constitutional provisions that, in affirming the principles of impartiality and good performance, aspire to provide a democratic administration that is capable of making choices and adopting complex decisions.