2.3 The Municipal Vulnerability Assessment
The Municipal Vulnerability Assessment is another tool , in addition to the Municipal Checklist discussed in 2.1 above, that can be applied by a municipality and outside organizations to help understand how the local government addresses integrity and transparency issues. This tool focuses on three areas: whether the general control environment that obtains in a local government is permissive of corruption ; whether a particular activity is more likely to be susceptible to corruption; and whether existing controls are adequate.
The main purposes of the Municipal Vulnerability Assessment are:
To clarify the different areas within a municipality that might be vulnerable to abuse of authority and management of resources; and
To point authorities and reformers in relevant directions concerning the steps to be taken to reduce vulnerability, enhance transparency, and strengthen integrity.
Linkage to Transparency
The Municipal Vulnerability Assessment generates information that is especially useful in identification of loopholes for corruption in the local system. Thorough analysis can point to systemic changes to reduce corruption and enhance transparency in the local government.
How it works – The Key Elements
As set forth below, and similar to the Municipal Checklist, the Vulnerability Assessment poses a series of questions which need to be answered after thoroughly examining the Municipality structure. These responses are then analysed to identify the areas of vulnerability. Finally, remedies are proposed to improve the general municipal environment and reduce risks of corruption in the pinpointed areas.
Box 12: Outline of a Municipal Vulnerability Assessment
A. Is the general control environment permissive of corruption?
1. To what degree is management committed to a strong system of internal control?
2. Are appropriate reporting relationships in place among the organizational units?
3. To what degree is the organization staffed by people of competence and integrity?
4. Is authority properly delegated and limited?
5. Are policies and procedures clear to employees?
6. Are budgeting and reporting procedures well specified and effectively implemented?
7. Are financial and management controls - including the use of computers - well established and safeguarded?
B. To what extent does the activity carry the inherent risk of corruption?
1. To what extent is the programme vague or complex in its aims; heavily involved with third-party beneficiaries; dealing in cash; or in the business of applications; licenses, permits, and certificates?
2. What is the size of the budget? (The bigger the budget, the greater the possible loss).
3. How large is the financial impact outside the agency? (The greater the "rents", the greater the incentives for Corruption.)
4. Is the programme new? It is working under a tight time constraint or immediate expiration date? (If so, corruption is more likely.)
5. Is the level of centralisation appropriate for activity?
6. Has there been prior evidence of illicit activities here?
C. After preliminary evaluation, to what extent do existing safeguards and controls seem adequate to prevent corruption?
Source: Klitgaard, Robert, et.al. (2000) Corrupt Cities: A practical guide to cure and prevention. World Bank Institute, Washington, DC.
Further information and contacts
Klitgaard, Robert, Ronald MacLean-Abaroa, H. Lindsey Parris (2000) Corrupt Cities: A Practical Guide to Cure and Prevention. World Bank Institute, Washington DC.