Costa Rica enjoys a deeply rooted democratic tradition. This legacy of strong checks and balances and institutions is reflected in several socio-economic and governance indicators, where the country typically performs better than the regional average.

However, Costa Rica has not escaped major corruption scandals over the past decades, sometimes involving the highest authorities of the country. Even though cases have been detected and prosecuted, they revealed weaknesses in some areas of public governance that could have helped prevent corruption. Furthermore, organised crime has increased, bringing with it greater risks of corruption and the undermining of public institutions. Together, these integrity risks could endanger the socio-economic progress of Costa Rica and undermine trust in government.

With the aim of going beyond effective enforcement and work towards a proactive culture of public integrity, Costa Rica asked the OECD to carry out an Integrity Review in a number of priority areas. Financed by the European Commission, the Integrity Review analyses the strategic focus and governance of the country’s institutional framework on public integrity. It looks at how the various integrity actors co-ordinate and how integrity measures are implemented throughout the public sector. It also reviews the recently adopted National Strategy for Integrity and Prevention of Corruption (ENIPC), a milestone towards a coherent integrity system.

In addition, the Integrity Review looks into three more technical areas: the framework for preventing and managing conflict of interest, the disciplinary regime and measures to ensure transparency and integrity in political decision making, and in particular, lobbying.

This report is part of OECD’s work to help countries effectively implement the OECD Recommendation on Public Integrity. The recommendations provided in this Integrity Review of Costa Rica inform the national dialogue on the next steps in implementing the ENIPC, on the development of a National Integrity Policy and on potential priorities of the newly elected Government.

The report was reviewed by the OECD Working Party of Senior Public Integrity Officials (SPIO) and approved by the Public Governance Committee on 6th of July 2022 and was prepared for publication by the Secretariat.

Metadata, Legal and Rights

This document, as well as any data and map included herein, are without prejudice to the status of or sovereignty over any territory, to the delimitation of international frontiers and boundaries and to the name of any territory, city or area. Extracts from publications may be subject to additional disclaimers, which are set out in the complete version of the publication, available at the link provided.

© OECD 2022

The use of this work, whether digital or print, is governed by the Terms and Conditions to be found at