THE VIABILITY OF LIFESTYLE AUDITS AS AN EMERGING ANTI-CORRUPTION TOOL IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR: CONCEPTS, ESSENTIALS AND PROSPECTS, PP. 80 - 117
Lifestyle audits are viable tools in the fight against corruption. Unfortunately, they have not been sufficiently developed or adopted despite their effectiveness in combatting corruption. For long, countries have deployed diverse anti-corruption strategies under various international, regional and national legal frameworks. Despite these efforts, corruption continues to permeate every sector of national economies, with debilitating effects on development goals and the well-being of populations. Most of the anti-corruption strategies adopted, focus on the integrity of the operational systems of public institutions on the one hand, and personal integrity of their public officials on the other. The prevalence of corruption in Kenya and other African countries signals that the measures adopted so far are insufficient.
This article therefore identifies lifestyle audits as an emerging and viable strategy that could be adopted in refocusing the anti-corruption war in the public sector. The ‘lifestyle audits approach’ primarily focuses on the integrity of an individual’s personal wealth as the key driver of their lifestyle. Any lifestyle that depicts expenditure that is disproportionate to an individual’s known legitimate income is an indicator of corruption and should attract investigations for possible assets recovery. Notably, there is no country that has developed model legislation specifically dedicated to lifestyle audits. This article explores the concepts, elements and prospects of lifestyle audits as an anti-corruption tool and presents a toolkit of the essentials of an ideal lifestyle audits framework for Kenya and Africa.