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Monitoring for Results: The next big step in managing corruption?!

Francesca Recanatini's picture

Courts must expeditiously, but fairly, adjudicate corruption cases, and the penalties imposed on those convicted must be sufficient to dissuade others from similar acts.  To ensure that anti-corruption laws are indeed being effectively enforced, governments need to monitor the enforcement process. 

Doing so can provide performance measures to inform and guide policy design and implementation.  These performance measures also serve as indicators of corruption.  In the short run, policy makers may not be able to do much to change these indicators, but  measures, focused on performance, can provide a country something more concrete to act upon, helping policy-makers to prioritize.

For example, if the number of completed corruption investigations in a particular country is low because of difficulty in obtaining evidence, it can identify changes in policy and procedures which expand or strengthen investigators powers and tools such as providing it with subpeona powers or access to financial records.

Corruption and likewise the success on deterring it cannot be measured by perception alone. The Uganda's first annual report on corruption is one of the most recent examples of a concrete initiative on measuring performance for implementing informed actions. The report recommends a review of Uganda’s judicial process in fighting corruption by, among other actions, adapting a 60-day timeline for prosecuting corruption cases.

Like many other countries, Uganda has the right institutions and legal framework for investigating and prosecuting corruption cases but enforcement remains a challenge. The initiative proposes the use of data tracking mechanisms and actionable indicators that will allow to monitor progress in the implementation of specific reforms and policy changes on a periodic basis.

1. Are you aware of existing performance measures or monitoring mechanism(s) implemented in your country for tracking progress in investigating and prosecuting corruption cases?

2. If yes, is the data from monitoring (or some performance measure) publicly available?  If so, how is the information made public (annual report, webpage, report to legislative or executive branch, etc.) and how often is it made public?


at the icac mauritius we are even implementing a performance based budgeting system monitotred by a parliamentary committee. moreover the progress in the number of investigations initiated, completed and prosecuted are updated regularly and are published in various reports to which the public also have full access. all the cases pending trial including a copy of the indictment are posted on our web page. all judments ,rulings, and comments on certain salient features of weaknesses or strengths are also posted on that site.

Anticorruption commissions and independent structures need empowerment on how to set and monitor results. That is, for countries where there is proven political will to fight corruption. But where corruption is an instrument for political and other power and office, this debate has no place. This is beacause, the system will keep talking fighting corruption whereas it is corruption fighting and even ruling the system. In some countries, corruption cases drag on for years without preliminary investigations yielding anything. At times, the detention of suspects for years raises questions on the motives behind their arrests and other human rigths issues. I think that if countries fighting corruption must acheive results, then, there must be a comprehensive anticorruption legislation that sets out benchmarks on investigation periods amongst others. Specific legislation is the livewire of the fight after political will because; in most countries of the South, many forms of corruption are not criminalized by law. Besides, the law even when it sanctions corruption with many years of imprisonment, it is silent on the issue of asset seizure and recovery. In Cameroon for instance, courts hand down heavy sentences on convicted suspects ranging from between thirty to fifty years for top civil servants who stole billions from the citizens. while these VIP prisoners are given such heavy sentences in jail, nothing is done to their stolen wealth. Worst still, some of these VIP thieves while in prison continously mock at the fight on corruption by multiplying landed property and other investments.

Submitted by Jack Titsworth on
I've prepared the table below after googling around the internet. It sets out conviction rates for corruption cases in various countries. I should underscore though that, although these data do portray results, one is not necessarily comparing apples with apples; they represent the performance of the entire law-enforcement chain in each country, thus there is variation in constitutions and corruption-related legislation (including which crimes are categorised as corruption) as well as the independence and capacity of the investigating agencies, prosecuting agencies and courts that deal with corruption cases. When one looks at longitudinal data in those countries for which I could find them, one also sees significant variations in performance at different points in time, even from year-to-year. As colleague Rick Messick commented: “This kind of data can be very useful for time-series analyses, but there are so many variables that affect the conviction rate that cross-national comparisons are virtually impossible. In the Philippines, for example, prosecutors must bring to court any case they receive no matter how flimsy the evidence. In other countries, prosecutors sometimes dismiss any case they are not 100% sure they can win in order to maintain a perfect conviction rate). Anyway, this table might be useful to the various people who working on anti-corruption; should it be useful to do so, I could update/expand it if others send me their data. Corruption Cases Ratio of convictions to prosecution for various countries Country Period Convictions as % of Prosecutions Botswana Late 1990s 84 Botswana Currently & recently Above 70 Hong Kong 2009 - 2010 91.5 India (federal only) 2009 64 Indonesia 2010 and recent years 100 Malaysia 1979 - 2010 28.7 Mauritius Prior to June 2006 100 (1 case) Mauritius After June 2006 55 Nepal 2002 - 2005 86.7 New Zealand 2002 100 Philippines 2001 6 Philippines 2003 19 (after new Ombudsman appointed) South Africa 1999 - 2004 93 Tanzania 1995 – April 2010 6.8 (average) (high of 19 in 1999) (low of 0 in 2001) United Kingdom 2007 - 2008 68 United Kingdom 2009 - 2010 91 United States 2009 88 (federal only) Zambia 1966 - 2000 41 (average) (high of 80 in 1997) (low of 24 in 2000)

Submitted by Fernando Téllez Lombana on
Este tema es supremamente complicado en la medida en que en el imaginario colectivo la corrupción no es vista como algo malo sino como un atajo; lo primero que se ha intentado hacer es concientizar a nuestros funcionarios, periodicamente les inculcamos la esencia de ser honestos; hemos creado filtros en nuestros procesos y una vez se detecta alguna irregularidad, se procede a investigar si se dio y porque se dio, al punto que siempre se descubre que son tentativas, y la solución es sacar al personal. Para eso sirven los filtros. Otra medida es que en este despcaho estamos al servicio de la ley, la gente contesta que en otros sitios se lo hacen, ante lo cual hemos perdido gran cantidad de clientes, pero prefereimos hacer menos que ser ladrones, para nosotros ladron es sinonimo de corrupción

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