Poorly enforced integrity regulations

Many legal and regulatory provisions are not enforced, or, adherence to them is not supervised in practice.

Risk type: Practice

Risk driver: External


The best law has no value if it is not enforced. The best judges and magistrates are wasted if cases are never brought to them. Good investigations are wasted effort if the judge or magistrate is corrupt.

In the water sector and beyond, a number of laws and regulations are now in place to prevent and sanction corrupt behaviour and to safeguard the integrity of public officials, as well as companies and their employees. Nonetheless, illicit practices persist. Many legal and regulatory provisions are not enforced or adherence to them is not supervised in practice. The (formal and informal) regulatory framework sets the incentives and accountability relationships in the water sector and often determines which policies are pushed and implemented, and which ones are only passed on paper.

If new rules and legal requirements are not enforced or violations of such rules go unsanctioned due to political interference, these integrity regulations are diminished to ‘window dressing’ for the donors and partners.


  • Illicit behaviour such as bribery or corruption is considered to be normal business behaviour.
  • There is low confidence in regulatory and enforcement bodies.
  • Open violations of sector rules are not sanctioned or violators are even promoted.
  • Several laws and regulations have been finalized but not ‘gazetted’ (i.e. registered or made official), or are without a clear implementation and enforcement strategy.




Environmental laws and regulations not enforced1

Target group: Public institutions

Location: Bangladesh

Environmental management and water resource management is neglected because environmental laws and regulations are not effectively enforced and progress is not being made towards integrated water resources management through pilots or on-going programmes. […] any policy regarding the water and environmental management are not found. Monitoring and evaluation information or data related to water resources management are not available.


  1. Rahman, S. H. and Islam, S. T., 2014, Country Baseline Assessment – Water Sector Integrity in Bangladesh, Bangladesh Water Integrity Network (BAWIN), Water Integrity Network (WIN) and Transparency International Bangladesh
Last updated 11 April 2019

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