1. Introduction

Peru is a unitary state, about twice the size of France in land-mass, with a two-tier subnational system of government composed of 24 regions and the constitutional province of Callao, 1 874 district municipalities and 196 provincial municipalities. The provincial municipalities have a co-ordination role across district municipalities. Overall, Peru has a complex system of shared and exclusive competences between the three levels of government (national, regional and municipal).

The territory can be broadly divided into three zones, the coast (costa), the uplands (sierra) and the rainforest (selva) and each zone has certain geographic and socio-demographic commonalities. Nonetheless, the 24 regions and the constitutional province all have different levels of development and face different integrity challenges. Expanding a framework for high-quality regulation at all levels of government is a challenge for all countries and can only be achieved if countries take into consideration the diversity of subnational needs and the particularities of lower levels of government (Rodrigo, Allio and Andres-Amo, 2009[1]).

This also applies to the implementation of a public integrity system at all levels of government as encouraged by the OECD Recommendation of the Council on Public Integrity (OECD, 2017[2]). In fact and as will be analysed in detail in the sub-section on “Regional and other subnational governments are highly vulnerable to corruption” in Chapter 2, subnational entities in Peru experience specific integrity challenges and high risks of corruption, just like in other countries in Latin America and worldwide (OECD, 2019[3]; OECD, 2018[4]). For example, according to the Anticorruption Prosecution Office (Procuraduría Pública Especializada en Delitos de Corrupción), 67 governors and former governors were under investigation in 2017 for corruption offences (Procuraduría Pública Especializada en Delitos de Corrupción, 2017[5]).

This situation underscores the need for Peru´s regional governments to strengthen their integrity efforts and build coherent integrity sub-systems aligned with the national integrity system. While formally a comprehensive framework for regional public integrity sub-systems is in place, in practice the level of policy implementation and institutional activity varies from region to region and depends on several contextual and resources-related factors, such as the prevailing integrity vulnerabilities, the availability of financial and human resources and their capacities, the political commitment and similar. The Peruvian National Integrity and Anticorruption Policy (Política Nacional de Integridad y Lucha contra la Corrupción, PNILC) recognises the limited reach of anti-corruption actions at the regional and local level, also in light of the evidence that subnational entities are those most affected by corruption.

Building on the previous integrity work of the OECD with Peru, this report focuses on the regional reality, assessing key challenges hindering the implementation of integrity systems at the regional level in the Peruvian context. It further proposes an incremental and realistic approach towards the implementation of the integrity function by regional governments. Furthermore, the report addresses how such an integrity function could support the regional anti-corruption co-ordination mechanism established in each region, the Regional Anti-corruption Commissions (Comisiones Regionales Anticorrupción, CRAs), which so far have demonstrated only a limited progress and impact. The regional focus of the report is not meant to underestimate other key challenges, actors and perspectives at the subnational level such as those in municipalities, but it is meant to address integrity risks and potential strategy within the weakest link in Peru’s system of government (OECD, 2016[6]). Although in the last twenty years Peru has made strong advances in terms of political decentralisation, the process has not been fully completed and the regional level is highly affected by gaps and shortcomings.

Although the analysis of the report is strongly rooted in the regional challenges and context, the point of view taken to elaborate the recommendations is the national one, since the national integrity policy and related integrity obligations are to be implemented equally in regions, guided by the Public Integrity Secretariat (Secretaría de Integridad Pública, SIP). Furthermore, national actors still have a strong influence on regional policies and politics and should promote an enabling environment for integrity. From this perspective, the SIP has the key role of articulating both the horizontal co-ordination among national entities and the implementation of the national integrity system at the regional level.


[3] OECD (2019), La Integridad Pública en América Latina y el Caribe 2018-2019: De Gobiernos reactivos a Estados proactivos, OECD, Paris, http://www.oecd.org/gov/integridad/integridad-publica-en-america-latina-caribe-2018-2019.htm (accessed on 25 February 2020).

[4] OECD (2018), Integrity for Good Governance in Latin America and the Caribbean: From Commitments to Action, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264201866-en.

[2] OECD (2017), OECD Recommendation of the Council on Public Integrity, OECD/LEGAL/0435, https://legalinstruments.oecd.org/en/instruments/OECD-LEGAL-0435.

[6] OECD (2016), OECD Territorial Reviews: Peru 2016, OECD Territorial Reviews, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264262904-en.

[5] Procuraduría Pública Especializada en Delitos de Corrupción (2017), Sospecha generalizada de corrupción contra gobernadores y alcaldes del país, https://plataformaanticorrupcion.pe/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/INFORME-CORRUPCION-SOBRE-GOBERNADORES-Y-ALCALDES.pdf (accessed on 6 November 2020).

[1] Rodrigo, D., L. Allio and P. Andres-Amo (2009), “Multi-Level Regulatory Governance: Policies, Institutions and Tools for Regulatory Quality and Policy Coherence”, OECD Working Papers on Public Governance, No. 13, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/224074617147.

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