Fighting corruption in South Asia: Building accountability

Filed under - Accountability

Report published 21 May 2014
Hardly a speech is delivered in South Asia without mention of the need to fight corruption in the region. Yet despite the lofty promises, corruption is on the rise. This report shows how a serious lack of political will on the part of governments to make laws work, means that government action to fight corruption is largely ineffective. The report draws on the findings of in-depth research on anti-corruption efforts in Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, which analysed almost 70 institutions across the six countries. While none of the institutions assessed were found to be free from corruption risks, this report focuses in particular on the judiciary and anti-corruption agencies as critical actors in the fight against corruption. It highlights common challenges in the region and presents the governments of South Asia with a clear set of urgent priorities which need to be addressed in order to translate their anti-corruption rhetoric into concrete action. See our feature about this here.

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Errata

Please note that the following mistakes occurred in the report:

Page 10:
In the box titled “India RTI Law: A ray of light”, the first line in the second paragraph read: “Under the act, all Indian citizens have a right to ask for information from central and state governments and public authorities (expect in the state of Jammu and Kashmir)”, when it should read: “Under the act, all Indian citizens have a right to ask for information from central and state governments and public authorities.”

Page 15:
In the section “Powerless oversight bodies”, the fourth line in the third paragraph read: “In India, a similar provision requiring the Central Vigilance Commission to get prior government approval before conducting an investigation or launching a prosecution against a senior public officer, was deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court”, when it should read: “In India, a similar provision requiring the Central Bureau of Investigation to get prior government approval before conducting an investigation or launching a prosecution against a senior public officer was deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.”

We have corrected the report accordingly and apologise for these mistakes.

Revision

Page 4:
In the section “Anti-corruption watchdogs: Tied up and toothless”, the seventh line read: “By placing close allies in key positions within these institutions, governments in the region are able to assert strong influence on decisions which may negatively affect them.” It has been amended to: “Through politically motivated appointments to key positions within these institutions, governments are often found to assert strong influence on the outcomes of key decisions which may affect their effectiveness and credibility.”



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