IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/chm/wpaper/wp2009-8.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The pursuit of integrity in customs: Experiences from sub-Saharan Africa

Author

Listed:
  • Odd-Helge Fjeldstad

Abstract

This paper examines recent experiences from sub-Saharan Africa in combating corruption in customs. It argues that integrity reforms have been too focused on reforming formal institutions, and too little attention has been paid to the political economy of reforms and the role of informal institutions. In many customs administrations, patronage runs through networks grounded on ties of kinship and community origin. Patronage undermines the implementation of policies and rules-of-law more generally. Opportunities for accessing illegal income tend to become institutionalised, leading to the creation of parallel organisations within customs, in which posts are valued essentially on the basis of the illicit gains to which they provide access. In such settings, customs officers are torn between compliance with abstract bureaucratic norms and concrete expectations of their networks of social belonging. Accordingly, policy initiatives should focus more on measures that reduce the possibility or attraction of favouritism versus acting in the general public interest. This calls for anti-corruption efforts based on thorough analysis of the political economy of customs, in order to understand the interests and incentives of key players.

Suggested Citation

  • Odd-Helge Fjeldstad, 2009. "The pursuit of integrity in customs: Experiences from sub-Saharan Africa," CMI Working Papers 8, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.
  • Handle: RePEc:chm:wpaper:wp2009-8
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.cmi.no/publications/file/3473-the-pursuit-of-integrity-in-customs.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Fjeldstad, Odd-Helge, 2013. "Taxation and Development : a Review of Donor Support to Strengthen Tax Systems in Developing Countries," WIDER Working Paper Series 010, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:chm:wpaper:wp2009-8. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Robert Sjursen). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/cmiiino.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.