The role of anti-corruption law in defensive bureaucracy

In the latest years, the legislation on anti-corruption, transparency and public procurement has been enhanced to contrast the chronic Italian pandemic: the so called“maladministration”. On the one hand, this legislative framework – that is composed of both hard and soft law (i.e. decisions, guidelines, communications issued by the National Anti-Corruption Authority) – is considered necessary to reduce the discretionary power of the Public Administration by favoring the law compliance by companies and individuals.
On the other hand, several Institutions, experts, and academics have highlighted that these measures may promote a “two-faced” behavior of private citizens and public officers. This may provoke some negative incentives: fragmentation, institutional overlaps, and norm collisions. As a paradox, the State risks reaching the opposite goal to that hoped for, i.e. bad regulation and too much bureaucracy that are the major causes of defensive bureaucracy.