Studies of 'national integrity systems' are part of the new international concern with corruption and its prevention. Alan Doig and Stephanie McIvor coordinated studies of 18 countries, and reflected on their method in Public Administration and Development (2003). This article compares their conclusions with an overview of a subsequent study of 12 small island states in the South Pacific using the same method. Though the sample was not chosen with scale in mind, smallness might explain some of the similarities between the Pacific Island cases, particularly the risks associated with offshore financial centres, trust funds and investments. Their relative size and weakness has also made them targets for direct intervention by Australian police and officials to rebuild anti-corruption institutions. The article goes on to show how the evidence from the Pacific Island cases raises questions about some of the standard proposals for anti-corruption reform: stronger parties, an ICAC, civil society coalitions and greater accountability and transparency.