Corruption understood as an institutional risk (intro)

Civis Mundi Digitaal #58

door Michel van Hulten

Two experienced hands (combined 50 years of multi-country and bilateral/multilateral donor experiences) wrote a 71 pages book under the title “Institutional Risk Assessment - Best Practices Compendium (Anti-Corruption & Integrity Auditing)” ISBN 978-1-77136-634-2 - a private publication. The authors are Canadian Daniel Blais and Fred Schenkelaars from the Netherlands.

Professionally they are certified public accountants (CPA and RA) while Daniel Blais is also a law school graduate. Presumably this substantive background helps explain why their text is quite condensed requiring   intense reading with not a word wasted. The text is divided into chapters and details the hands-on field experiences in Sierra Leone, Iraq, Bulgaria, Bangladesh and Indonesia while detailing their mandates including their local/national relations with counterparts, donors/funders and executing agencies or contractors. Five contracts in five countries are detailed in 22 pages with these comprehensive mandates followed by five abridged mandates for Liberia, PR China, Iraq, Moldova, Serbia with these summarized in some 13 pages.


The cover of their compendium is summarily titled;

              “An Applied Methodology to

  • identify corruption prone areas and practices,
  • conduct institutional risk assessments, reviews/audits,
  • report findings and
  • recommend solutions.

used in the public sector by the executive and/or the legislature and/or SAI’s.”


The nine countries detailed deal with the specific subject matter, each in its particular, national institutional context. For example, the work in Sierra Leone is identified as “Support to the Anti-Corruption Commission of the Government of Sierra Leone more specifically it’s Prevention Department.” What could be additional useful information would be the number of contracted days with the budget total per project so as for the reader to get a more accurate scope and importance of each experience. In fact, the reader obtains substantial insight in the methodology of their “Institutional Risk Assessments” as this is replicated in widely different institutional and national settings. However, the plural in the book’s title-offers a compendium of best practices-is more of a detailed narrative of one method of in depth observation, data collection and analysis useful to different counterparts i.e. one good methodology/practice thoroughly executed in several cases.


I refer those interested readers to the summary description of the book as written by Blais and Schenkelaars with further information available including the full text of the compendium from  the authors;

Daniel Blais –, telephone: +1 819 847 1725 or

Fred Schenkelaars –, telephone: +32 474 195 651