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Critical Notes(5) on Janlokpal (Political Ombudsman) - Why Do Anti-Corruption Agencies Fail?

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Critical Notes(5) on Janlokpal (Political Ombudsman) - Why Do Anti-Corruption Agencies Fail?

Post  nikhil_sablania on Mon Aug 29, 2011 1:51 am

Such agencies can be effective anti-corruption organisations, but at their worst they can:

"Add another layer of (ineffective) bureaucracy to the law enforcement sector."

"Divert resources from existing organisations involved in anti-corruption work."

"Function inefficiently if unable to target serious/high level corruption cases."

"Function as a ‘shield’ to satisfy donors and public opinion (as codes of conduct often have in relation to private sector companies, public sector organisations, and government departments)."

"Delay the reform of other areas."

"Function as a political police."


Anti-corruption agencies can only be effective organisations in combating corruption in a limited number of contexts, because the variables behind their success are complex, and often specific to individual countries. Policies, which fail to take into account both the unique historical context, as well as current fiscal environment are doomed to failure and the anticorruption project is too important to fall into these policy potholes.

Many countries have established anti-corruption agencies without proper evaluation and in a context where the appropriate structural factors and organisations features are absent, thus adversely affecting their development and operational effectiveness.

Setting up anti-corruption agencies with the ability to investigate as well as prevent corruption clearly costs money and will require substantial funding to be effective. Corruption cannot be fought effectively without an investment of scarce national resources, and political resolve is required to keep this national problem on the agenda and be translated into voted public funds. The anti-corruption initiative will however, inevitably compete with other even more demanding causes and in India the pressing problems of job creation, poverty, inflation, medical care, poor sex-ratio, education, HIV/AIDS as well as crime and security come to mind.

A draft prevention of Corruption Bill with unclear status, greatly expands the current definitional framework for corruption offences in India.

It is a very real concern that in certain contexts an anti-corruption agency could become the political police of a corrupt regime. How can one ensure that such an agency is truly independent and accountable?

Establishing an anti-corruption agency with extensive legal powers in the absence of effective oversight is a risky procedure. One of the major planks of oversight is the rule of law and a professional legal system, which would provide the space to supervise the special powers of the agency and challenge its operations in the courts.

It is, simply, much easier to recommend and establish an anti-corruption agency than it is to ensure that it is an effective anti-corruption organisation.


Is the agency being recommended for the ”wrong” reasons, for example to merely solve a problem of co-ordinating existing anti-corruption organisations?


Video showing corruption in Congress, media and business. Why Indian gov did not arrest Sonia Gandhi, Ratan Tata, Neera Sharma Radia & Barkha Datt



Critical Notes on Janlokpal (Political Ombudsman) will Continue...

Critical Notes(4) on Janlokpal (Political Ombudsman) Scheme -Case study Philippine(1C)
http://mooknaayak.freeblogforum.com/t117-critical-notes4-on-janlokpal-political-ombudsman-scheme-case-study-philippine1c

Reference:

Prerequisites for effective anti-corruption ombudsman’s offices and anti-corruption agencies Lala Camerer

Camerer, L. 2001. ”Corruption in South Africa: Results of an expert panel survey”. ISS Monograph Series.

De Speville, B. 2000. ”Why do anti-corruption agencies fail?”

Doig, A, Moran, J, and Watt, D. (2001) Working paper: Business planning for anti-corruption agencies.

Matsheza, P & Kunaka, C. 2000. ”Anti-corruption mechanisms and strategies in Southern Africa.”

2001. Unpublished paper, ”Independent Anti-Corruption Agencies: Basic Trends and Implementation in International practice,” Corruption research Centre, Tbilisi, Constitutional and Legal Policy Institute, Budapest.

To know more about Jan Lokpal or Ombudsman join:

Facebook group: Jan Lokpal Critic / Ombudsman Critic: http://www.facebook.com/groups/183577065048229/

Facebook page: Jan Lokpal Critic / Ombudsman Critic:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jan-Lokpal-Critic-Ombudsman-Critic/143491692407407

Blog (for news, subscribe by Email): http://jlpcritic.blogspot.com
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