Reducing corruption and improving citizen satisfaction are important aims of government, yet the link between these two policy aims has rarely been explored. This article reports a study into the roles played by transparency and trust in the relationship between governmental corruption and citizen satisfaction with public services. The study was based on data gathered in South Korea to evaluate a specific initiative that had sought to reduce corruption and increase citizen satisfaction with public works programmes. The data indicated that the relationship between corruption and satisfaction was moderated by transparency and partially mediated by trust. Points for practitioners: The study sheds light on the roles of transparency and trust in the relationship between corruption and citizen satisfaction with public services, and thus provides insights for developing policy aimed at curtailing corruption and improving satisfaction.