OECD Public Governance Reviews

2219-0414 (online)
2219-0406 (print)
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This series includes international studies and country-specific reviews of government efforts to make the public sector more efficient, effective, innovative and responsive to citizens’ needs and expectations. Publications in this series look at topics such as open government, preventing corruption and promoting integrity in the public service, risk management, illicit trade, audit institutions, and civil service reform. Country-specific reviews assess a public administration’s ability to achieve  government objectives and preparedness to address current and future challenges. In analysing how a country's public administration works, reviews focus on cross-departmental co-operation, the relationships between levels of government and with citizens and businesses, innovation and quality of public services, and the impact of information technology on the work of government and its interaction with businesses and citizens.


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Preventing Policy Capture

Preventing Policy Capture

Integrity in Public Decision Making You do not have access to this content

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30 Mar 2017
9789264065239 (PDF) ;9789264065222(print)

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This report exposes how “policy capture”, where public decisions over policies are consistently or repeatedly directed away from the public interest towards a specific interest, can exacerbate inequalities and undermine democratic values, economic growth and trust in government. It maps out the different mechanisms and risks of policy capture, and provides guidance for policy makers on how to mitigate these risks through four complementary strategies: engaging stakeholders with diverging interests; ensuring transparency and access to information; promoting accountability; and identifying and mitigating the risk of capture through organisational integrity policies.

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  • Foreword and Acknowledgements

    By changing the formal “rules of the game”, public policies determine to a large extent the distribution of costs and benefits in an economy. Tax exceptions, subsidies, private sector participation in government services, emission standards, public health policies and education grant programmes (to name a few) directly influence who gets what. Having a say in the design of these formal rules of the game is therefore of great interest to all parties.

  • Executive summary
  • No country is immune to policy capture

    This chapter clarifies the concept of policy capture, particularly in relation to corruption and lobbying. It reviews the detrimental consequences of capture, and emphasises its impact on perpetuating and aggravating inequalities, failing to achieve policy goals, and eroding public trust and government legitimacy.

  • How does policy capture happen?

    This chapter explains capture of public decision-making processes in more detail. It describes the main features of policy capture, the mechanisms through which it can be achieved, and the actors typically involved. The chapter closes with an overview of the main risk factors. This generic risk map is intended to provide guidance to policy makers in diagnosing capture risks.

  • Policy measures to prevent policy capture

    This chapter provides guidance on mitigating risks of public decisions being captured. It highlights the relevance of a coherent and comprehensive approach to fostering a culture of integrity and accountability in public decision-making, and proposes four complementary strategies for mitigating capture risks: 1) ensuring decision-making processes that promote inclusiveness and social accountability; 2) fostering transparency and access to information; 3) enabling the external accountability of decision-makers through supreme audit institutions and regulatory enforcement agencies; and 4) addressing capture risks through integrity measures at the organisational level.

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