In the battle against corruption, there is no magic bullet. Many countries have made substantial strides in combating corruption, but practitioners are still looking for new ideas and proof of effectiveness.
People and governments will make progress in the battle against corruption in five ways which are described below:
1. Put an End to Impunity
To ensure that the corrupt are disciplined and to break the cycle of immunity, or the freedom from punishment or failure, effective law enforcement is needed.
A robust legislative structure, law enforcement branches, and an impartial and effective justice system all contribute to successful enforcement strategies. Initiatives like Transparency International’s Unmask the Corrupt campaign will help civil society support the process.
2. Public Administration and Financial Management Must Be Overhauled
In several countries, financial management reforms and enhancing the position of auditing agencies have had a greater effect on reducing corruption than public sector reforms.
One such change is the public disclosure of budget details, which avoids resource duplication and misallocation. Transparency International Sri Lanka, for example, encourages inclusive and participatory budgeting by educating residents to comment on their local government’s proposed budgets.
3. Transparency and Openness to Knowledge Should Be Promoted
Countries that have been active in combating corruption have a long history of government accountability, press freedom, transparency, and information access. Access to information improves the responsiveness of government bodies while also increasing citizen engagement in a region.
Transparency International Maldives successfully lobbied for the introduction of one of the toughest access to information laws in the world by sending SMS text messages to local MPs.
4. People Must Be Empowered
A sustainable solution to building confidence between people and government is to strengthen citizens’ desire for anti-corruption and encourage them to keep the government accountable. Community surveillance programs, for example, have aided in the detection of corruption, the reduction of fund leakages, and the improvement of the quantity and quality of public services in some situations.
Transparency International Slovenia created an interactive map that the public could fill with photos and details of possible election fraud to track local elections. As a result, instances of public funds being misappropriated to help specific candidates have been discovered.
5. Identify and Close International Gaps
Corrupt public officials around the world would be unable to launder and conceal the profits of stolen state properties if they did not have access to the international financial system. Major financial centers must put in place immediate measures to prevent their banks and cooperating offshore financial centers from absorbing illicit funds.
The European Union recently adopted the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive, which allows EU member states to establish beneficial owner registers for companies incorporated within their borders. The order, however, does not mandate that these registers be made public. Similarly, the governments of Norway, the United Kingdom, and Ukraine have all passed legislation requiring businesses to reveal details about their owners, but none of these laws have yet to take effect.
Interesting related article: “What is Fraud?“