Enhancing Government Effectiveness and Transparency: The Fight Against Corruption

Enhancing Government Effectiveness and Transparency: The Fight Against Corruption offers an assessment of the challenges governments face in tackling corruption, what instruments tend to work and why, and how incremental progress is being achieved in specific country contexts.

It is a comprehensive report covering sectors, tools and institutions that are key in the area of anti-corruption and can be a resource for many stakeholders.

The World Bank has undertaken a fresh assessment of challenges governments face in tackling corruption, what instruments tend to work and why, and how incremental progress is being achieved in specific country contexts. This flagship report shows positive examples of how countries are progressing in their fight against corruption. It is part of a series of initiatives being led by the Equitable Growth, Finance & Institutions (EFI) Vice Presidency to reaffirm the Bank’s commitment to anticorruption. The report follows the Anticorruption Initiatives completed last December. It also informs our pending work on the Bank’s Anticorruption Action Plan – on how we will be implementing anticorruption work going forward.

The report draws on the collective experts of staff across the World Bank to develop ways for enhancing the effectiveness of anti-corruption strategies in selected sectors and through targeted policy instruments. It covers issues, challenges and trends in five key thematic areas: Public Procurement; Public Infrastructure; State Owned Enterprises; Customs Administration; and Delivery of Services in selected sectors. The report also focuses on cross-cutting themes such as transparency, citizen engagement and Gov-tech; selected tools to build integrity; and the role and effectiveness of anticorruption agencies, tax and audit administrations, and justice systems. It features a country case study on Malaysia that traces the history of a country’s anti-corruption efforts over the last few decades.

News headlines over the last few years have been filled with global scandals involving corruption on an unprecedented scale. They touch virtuallyevery continent, from Asia to Africa, Europe, and the Americas. The scale, magnitude, and sophistication of the operations has increasingly risen to levels that many had not considered possible before. Governments are forever in search of new approaches and tools that can help identify loopholes and entry points for corrupt activities. While the containment of COVID-19 (coronavirus) and its devastating human and economic impacts have more recently been the focus of government actions, it is almost certain that huge amounts of spending in a short time, circumventing the standard operating procedures, will result in new corruption scandals in the post-COVID (coronavirus) years. There are already reports in papers regarding inflated food prices or favored medical contracts to firms from a few countries. In drawing on the past and looking ahead to the future, the time is ripe for the World Bank to take a fresh look at the state of play in tackling corruption and how countries are attempting to address this long-standing scourge on development.

The report highlights that with the COVID-19 global pandemic, billions of dollars are being borrowed and spent by countries circumventing standard accountability procedures to manage the COVID-19 situation, leading to enhanced risk of corruption. To foster greater accountability, governments need to clearly articulate their actions, enforce rules, address violations, and remedy problems as quickly as possible in a transparent manner. The core tools of fiscal transparency, citizen engagement, and social accountability become ever more important.

http://documents1.worldbank.org/curated/en/235541600116631094/pdf/Enhancing-Government-Effectiveness-and-Transparency-The-Fight-Against-Corruption.pdf

Virginie Gastine Menou
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