Learner’s Submission: Anti-Corruption Authorities and Citizens Involvement

“Activities to involve citizens that are initiated and managed by anti-corruption authorities differ initiated and managed by citizen groups and NGOs. For one, the anti-corruption authorities are statutory bodies with the attendant legal and law enforcing authority. They are legitimate and have both national and international backing, which citizen groups and NGOs do not have, although they may have some sympathy for exercising their courses. Nonetheless, the anti-corruption authorities need citizen’s cooperation and trust for their programmes to succeed.

Anti-corruption authorities may respond to the context through public education campaign about the extent and consequences of corruption on the economy, exacerbating poverty, deprivation, etc., creating a platform for citizens to report acts of corruption, jailing of some key officials as a way to setting examples to show that the agency is serious. The anti-corruption agencies can also educate the citizenry about what they want achieve in the fight. They could seek their ideas through surveys which could also touch on sensitive issues around traditions and culture. The citizens fully understand the context in which corruption thrives, the magnitude of the vice, the most vulnerable and at risk public departments, because they experience it almost on a daily basis so they can help the authorities in formulating policies against corruption. Once the policies and laws are formulated and enacted, full compliance will be required and penalties applied for breach.

Because citizen groups and NGOs do not have the legal tenacity, they can only apply pressure through campaigns and mass mobilization – which may take different shape, to push through their agendas. Issues that citizen groups and NGOs may likely address are those that directly impact on citizen’s daily lives such as extortion, bribery, massive unemployment, inflation, poor standards of living, etc. which are less far what the anti-corruption agencies will address.” Robert Palmer – Bonn, Germany

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