Corruption in Pakistan

Written by Ghassan Khan 5:56 pm

Corruption in Pakistan: The Case of the Civil Service

The article deliberates on the menace of corruption in Pakistan’s civil service. The author tactfully analyzes what the main causes and effects of corruption are in the civil services. After this, he ranks three anti-corruption policies based on equity, administrative operability, political viability, and technical feasibility to curb corruption.

Written in 2013

Executive Summary

Corruption in Pakistan is a major issue. This menace has even tainted the country’s civil services. This paper focuses on the abolition of corruption in the public sector of Pakistan. Initially, the background of corruption in Pakistan has been studied, after which a comparison has been done with other countries. After this, the problem statement, root cause, and the effects of corruption have been discussed. Subsequently, depending on the criteria of equity, administrative operability, political viability, and technical feasibility, anti-corruption policy alternatives have been ranked in the decision matrix.

The first alternative suggested, the improved implementation of the National Anti-corruption policy, may seem to best suit the desired outcome i.e. the professional attitude of civil servants, notable decreases in corruption, strengthening of ministerial and senior managerial relationships, recruitment, and selection based on merit and an overall improvement in the ethics of public administration.

The second alternative, Transparency Pakistan’s Strategic Framework against corruption, also possess attributes for a national policy. It focuses on multiple factors that decentralize the authority of government in penalizing corruption and giving substantial power to the people.

On the other hand, the third alternative broadens the horizon for Pakistan’s civil administrators by bringing in cases of the Philippines to attention.

Lastly, a recommendation has been given after evaluation of the best policy alternatives via decision matrix, stakeholder analysis, and a political matrix.

Introduction and Background

In the words of Lord Acton, “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” This concept is entirely true. Countries like Pakistan face serious national threats from social degradation elements like corruption. In a study by the World Bank Institute, it was estimated that an alarming $1,000 billion are paid as bribes every year on average in countries across the world. Corruption means coming under the umbrella of the black market, which is not legalized and accounted for under the country’s financial books.

Research at the Asian Development Bank tells us that corruption can cost a country up to 17 percent of its Gross Domestic Product.  Seeing the threat corruption poses to the welfare of countries the United Nations declared war on corruption after the formation of the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) in December 2005. On the international scale, the issue of corruption has gotten necessary attention, however in third world countries like Pakistan, which have prominent indicators such as inept governance, negligence of human rights, and encumbered civil societies, corruption plagues the general populace up to the present day.

On the national scale, however, the issue of corruption has not been taken seriously until the Musharraf administration. It was in his regime the National Anti-corruption Strategy (NACS) was proposed leading to the creation of Anti-corruption Agencies (ACAs) like the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (2011) ranked Pakistan at 134 out of 182 countries.

According to calculations performed by Transparency International, Pakistan has lost an unbelievably high amount, more than Rs 8.5 trillion (US $94 billion), in corruption, tax evasion, and bad governance during the last four years of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani’s tenure (The News, 2012). Current conditions are not any more favorable and Pakistan continues to decline in the index.

Despite the implementation of the NACS, statistics of corruption continue to rise. NACS has provided a basic framework for ACAs to work, but the main issue lies in its feasibility. This is the main reason why new concepts of anti-corruption should be presented to the academia and upcoming government.

Problem Definition

Corruption in civil service has resulted in fundamental tangible and intangible losses for the Pakistani people. The NACS has deterred the rise in corruption to an appreciable extent yet more resources by the government and stakeholders must be mobilized to nip corruption in the bud.

Evidence

Man-wai (n.d.) asserts in his paper that the primary issue in dealing with corruption is political will. He says that without a political will at the highest level of government, it is impossible to combat corruption effectively. Furthermore, Man-wai stated that a government’s support of anti-corruption programs can be judged by studying its budget, legal support, political interference in enforcement, and zero tolerance. He also says that corruption cannot be deterred by a single agency. Rather it is a complex framework of stakeholders that work together to fight a common foe. Suggesting a form of participatory government he gives evidence that there is no single methodology to uproot corruption rather it is a complex series of tasks; one after another.

This is not true in the case of Pakistan where the elected simply lack the will to uproot corruption. Due to this widespread corruption in Pakistan, the country is the 34th most corrupt nation in the world. To curb this menace, Pakistan has adopted a centralized approach to negating corruption by delegating penalizing authorities to the NAB.

Apart from administrative design, other more prominent factors influence corruption as well. A government may prevent, combat, and monitor corruption by employing various tools. The most important of these tools is performance-based pay. Research suggests that Scandinavian countries that rank in between the top positions of the CPI have handsome pay scales for civil servants.

Singapore’s country profile as per the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness (2010) report suggests that their institutions are ranked 1st for “both the lack of corruption in the country and government efficiency”.

Another set of labor market efficiency variables coinciding with their corruption index is that of cooperation in labor-employer relations, the flexibility of wage determination, the rigidity of employment index, hiring and firing practices, redundancy costs, weeks of salary, pay and productivity, reliance on professional management, brain drain, women in the labor force, and ratio to men. Good scores in all of these factors represent a workforce that is highly motivated and thus highly paid. Superior pay of workers leads to reduced chances of corruption. Corruption in Pakistan was found to be 11.6 percent and so Singapore is way ahead in this regard.

Problem Analysis

Corruption in government agencies depletes government assets leading to a reduction in public welfare. Civil servants engage in illegitimate activities like theft, bribery, embezzlement, fraud, extortion, nepotism, cronyism, and blackmail for their interest leading to inefficient public programs.

Methodology

The methodology used for analyzing the problem is the problem tree (available on Appendix 1). It provides an overview of all the known causes and effects of the problem of corruption and unprofessional attitude by the civil servants of Pakistan.

Root Causes

1.     Low Pay Scale

The primary reason for corruption in public agencies is the low pay scale of government employees. With the increasing inflation, price hikes, and cost of living, the civil servant cannot meet his expenses with the ungenerous salary he/she is given.

This fact has been proven also in the article Consequences of Political Instability, Governance and Bureaucratic Corruption on Inflation and Growth: The Case of Pakistan by Haider et al. (2011) – that inflation and corruption tend to move in a vicious cycle. Inflated economy leads to financial constraints of households depending on government salaries. These households then engage in illegal activities to meet expenses leading to failure in public programs. Failure of public programs causes fluctuations in the free-market leading to even more inflation.

Research has shown that private and public sector employees with similar responsibilities have stark differences in ethical workplace practices. Public administrators tend to be more corrupt than private-sector managers. The only difference between them was that of remuneration.

2.     Centralized Accountability Measures

After the enforcement of the NACS, the NAB has served as a responsible anti-corruption watch-dog for all government agencies. This keeps a strict check on high-grade civil servants but the problem of corruption seldom existed on the top tiers of public sector organizations. The main source of corruption is the middle managers and clerical staff ranging from grade 8 to 15 that are too small to be noticed by a single agency and slip through the net. NAB’s strategy for catching “big fish” has been vital until now but fails to catch the numerous bottom dwellers.

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3.     Politicized Agencies

An imperative concern is that of the involvement of political parties in the public service activities of the country. Political representatives using their power influence public sector organizations’ decisions. Government employees possess the authority in the legal framework to perform their assigned duties, but political aspirants (seeking the interests of their political parties) use tactics such as unjust claims, blackmail, and threats to encumber them. Therefore government employees must sign a deal with the devil and cooperate with these elitist individuals in fear of their personal and professional security.

4.     Feeble Backing of Law

The spearhead of any government is its law enforcement agencies. Pakistan’s police are the most frequent recipient of bribes as per the Global Corruption Barometer (2010) generated by the Transparency International (Dawn, 2010). A governance system that ironically has massive corruption running through the veins of its law enforcement bodies is conspicuously bound to fail. Civil servants tend to negotiate and bribe the police when caught red-handed in corruption.

5.     Position and Authority

There exists a blurred line of responsibility between organizations. In numerous situations jurisdictions of power overlap between government agencies which leads to conflict between them. This also serves as a means of corruption for crooked agency heads using the loopholes present within the law to forward their personal gains.

6.     Low Rates of Punishment

When the concept of an Indian Civil Service was ushered in by the British Government, a special provision was made to protect the tenure and service conditions of these officers. By limiting disciplinary action against them, they ensured job security as a reward for long years of service. After 1947’s partition, similar benefits were given to these individuals despite the change in the administrative dynamics of Pakistan.

These provisions were retained under the 1956 Constitution of Pakistan which provided a constitutional guarantee to civil servants. It is due to these constitutional guarantees that corruption has become an emergency in Pakistan administration. High-level bureaucrats seldom get trialed for their corrupt actions, all due to post-colonial laws.

7.     Lack of Transparency

There is a restricted flow of information between government agencies. The prime reason for this is because government agencies that overlap in dealing with certain public issues are competitive in nature. To gain an advantage over their competitor organizations, they keep vital information to themselves. This creates a lack of transparency in government agencies creating opportunities for crooked administrators to engage in malpractices.

Effects

The effects of corruption extend to multiple dimensions, which include political, social, economic, and environmental. A few effects are stated below:

1.     Moral Degradation

The biggest side effect of corruption is the moral degradation of society. This degradation is in terms of social dimension and its effects are large scale – affecting every other possible activity. Corruption on a governmental level induces corruption on a public scale as well as giving birth to organized crime. Public unrest increases exponentially and cities become victims of urban sprawl in extreme situations. A subset of these dwindling morals also translates to diminished work ethics.

2.     Depletion of National Wealth

Corruption leads to reduced efficiency causing an increase in costs of goods and services, pricey public resources, and unproductive projects at the expense of vital ones like hospitals, roads, schools, water supply, etc. By converting public wealth to personal wealth, corruption substantially reduces the money in the market causing an imbalance in the economy leading to inflation. Large scale corruption damages the economy and harms the entire population.

3.     Distortion of Political Development

History is witness to the downfall of political regimes that engaged in corruption. Corruption leads to the distortion of the political development of the country. Players engage in unethical practices and break laws to establish their monopoly over the entire political scenario. This leads to the impeachment of citizens’ rights and injustice against many individuals.

This may also spark a political struggle between individuals hindering the government’s development projects. Furthermore, it may lead to the isolation of certain individuals based on power and socio-economic class sparking a war between the rich and poor.

4.     Devaluation of Democratic Culture

In the social context, corruption discourages active participation by citizens. This is done deliberately by corrupt administrators to reduce transparency and increase the gap between the public and policymakers. This profits them, improving their position and augmenting their individual interests. Due to the resulting frustration and general apathy among the masses, the civil society gradually weakens. Social inequality also increases creating stark differences between the rich and the poor.

The Problem Tree Diagram can be seen on Appendix 1.

Policy Alternatives

Alternative One/Status quo (National Anti-corruption Strategy)

The National Anti-corruption Strategy was proposed by a group of stakeholders in a workshop on 17 April 2002 to counter the rising trend of corruption in Pakistan. This was the very first effort by policymakers to counter dishonesty on a national scale. The NACS report was drafted keeping in mind the vital role of stakeholders in policy formulation and administrative agencies in its application.

The NACS proposes to fight corruption using three means. Prevention is done to avoid corruption in the first place. By deterring the inclinations of government employees towards corruption, the NACS first opted to keep dedicated civil servants honest towards the welfare of the country. Higher pay grades, performance-based promotion, interest provisions, and providing means to career advancement are all the tools the Pakistan government used to prevent civil servants to engage in malpractices.

Secondly, the government deployed Monitoring mechanisms to discourage civil servants from engaging in corruption. Internal auditing and financial management are some of the techniques used.

Last on the list is Combating – this means using strict disciplinary measures to catch civil servants engaged in corruption and bringing them under judicial control.

The “tool kit” mentioned in the document enlist the instruments necessary to detect, refrain, and act against corruption. Digitalized access to information, pledges of honor, codes of conduct, conflict of interest provisions, declaring assets, integrity pacts, whistleblower acts and protection, vigilance units, citizen charters, service delivery surveys, and report cards are some of the instruments mentioned.

For the use of these three means, the government delegated authorities to the ACAs, FIA, and NAB. Anti Corruption Establishments were small commissions that the government allocated actionable authority to. These groups were created in various ministries such as excise and taxation, the foreign services, and the police department to observe corruption practices within the agencies themselves.

Secondly, the government authorized the operations of NAB, a federal department, to oversee and perform executive action against all corruption activities across the civil services of Pakistan. As a premier anti-government agency it is responsible to eliminate corruption from society through extensive projects.

The department was provided with dedicated staff and resources to end corruption for good. It has performed immensely well – as of 2011 the bureau received 6,988 complaints adding up to 8,376 complaints, with a backlog of 1,388. In fact, in 2011, NAB recovered Rs 901 million through plea bargaining and volunteered returns (The Nation, 2012). As far as performance is considered the NAB has executed its duties exceptionally well.

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Last on the list is Federal Investigation Agency. The NACS also strengthened the FIA increasing its budget and upgrading its jurisdiction. Established in 1974, the organization has been overshadowed in the role of fighting corruption by NAB.

At the end of the proposal, a Model Accountability Structure was given which provided the fundamentals for the above government actions. The structure opted for a non-selective across the board accountability. This meant that organizational heads were now responsible for the corruption of subordinates and were liable to disciplinary actions. Operations were firm, fair, and transparent. It also focused on internal control measures for the ACAs being placed to tackle corruption. The options available for the government are the creation of a single federal agency to oversee corruption, strengthening anti-corruption laws via the removal of legal inconsistencies, and focusing on international aspects of corruption (in cases of money laundering).

Alternative Two (Transparency International’s Strategic Framework)

The Strategic Framework of Transparency International Pakistan (TIP) is based on three aspects: global, regional, and institutional. Multiple means have been deployed in the form of a network – converging at one focal point, which is to eradicate corruption. TIP not only directs the elite but involves the middle and lower-income classes as well. It also considers the voice of the youth.

TIP aims to remove corruption, a social disease, via the following steps: (1) Public procurement: To enhance capacities in public procurement by training programs, schedules, workshops, technical assistance by need. (2) Judicial/educational reforms: Strengthen anti-corruption reforms by lobbying, advocacy campaigning, identifying partners, modifying rules, implementing the Freedom of Information Act, and via Local Governments Ordinance.

(3) Compliance with agencies: Compliance with the United Nations and National accountability commissions by carrying out gap analysis, perception surveys, and conducting report cards. (4) Focus on the private sector: To implement transparent systematic reforms in the private sector via enhanced anti-bribery principles, supporting chambers to promote anti-corruption policy, and facilitating review of the organizational procedure with a new policy.

(5) Promote civil society by increasing transparency, and guiding and supporting partners. (6) Improve Advocacyby increasing mass awareness against corruption in print, digital, and social media platforms. Advocacy also involves the youth-promoting principals of integrity.

(7) Introduce mechanisms for redressing complaints to increase the feedback capabilities of citizens. (8) Address Sustainability and empowerment by considering TIP as a focal point of anti-corruption practices in Pakistan. Assess and revise the organizational structure and administrative positions. Recruit required staff. Develop and functionalize the M+E system. Review and improve the financial management system. Organize a mid-term review jointly with partners and strengthen outreach programs and networks.

anti-corruption diagram Pakistan

In short, the proposal aims to remove corruption by creating a cycle between operational capacity, knowledge and skills, and advocacy for change, concurrently strengthening the anti-corruption movement, reforming the judiciary, reaching a greater number of citizens, and amplifying anti-corruption reforms in education. TIP uses an unconventional approach of citizen participation to improve the fight against corruption.

Alternative Three (Anti-corruption Measures in the Philippines)

This alternative from Johnston (2010) focuses on corruption in the Philippines which suffers from Oligarch and Clan syndrome. The Philippines possesses a dense cultural history with the population divided by casts and creeds of ancient times. In such environments, corruption is particularly disruptive in terms of development. Because of institutional weaknesses and the authority of dishonest oligarchs and their followers, corruption often faces ineffective opposition. It is also closely linked with violence.

The government has difficulties in performing even the most basic functions like resolving conflicts, revenue collection, maintenance of organizational authority, enforcement of law, and order to name a few. To deal with issues in countries with oligarch and clan syndrome, Michael gives a variety of short-term solutions to fight poverty and illiteracy and build trust through the effective provision of services in widely used public programs.

(1) Consolidate anti-corruption responsibilities amongst the ombudsman, blue-ribbon bodies, and others. Create new agencies in case the current one is corrupt. The new consolidated agency should be the center for investigation and prosecution. The consolidated anti-corruption office should have the necessary powers to arrest and prosecute. The consolidated agency should avoid donor-driven anti-corruption projects. They should be delegated to other agencies and must have sufficient staff and resources to follow up complaints effectively, guaranteeing security and confidentiality for citizens.

(2) Recruit a multi-segmented Eminent Persons Group (EPG) taken from all samples of the population to advise, oversee, evaluate, and report to the public. They must also have the authority to remove corrupt agency heads.

(3) Establish a Citizen Advocate within each Cabinet-level Public Service Department.

(4) Choose sectors with direct impact on the quality of life – such as the Department of Education or other taxation bodies and regularly gather and publish data on performance, quality, and costs of services, and compare the results with top of the line benchmarks and publish the results after involving the concerned NGOs. Openly name and reward officials responsible for improved performance and vice versa. Allocate resources to reward agencies with good results. Over time, apply this to other sectors.

(5) Repeatedly declare assets of officials.

(6) Sharp budgeting involves the removal of unnecessary funds.

(7) Support reform-minded bureaucrats with bonuses, recognition, whistleblower protections, and promotions.

Long-term solutions are also stated, however, their effects will be measurable in some years’ time: (1) Launch, sustain, and refine an anti-corruption curriculum in the schools educating the children of tomorrow regarding the side effects of corruption on society. (2) Elect Senators by districts. (3) Enhance the political independence, professionalism, credibility of the judiciary to fortify human liberties and property rights. (3) Simplifying the tax code based on the progressive “bands” of taxation that feature low rates and uniform treatment of taxpayers. (4) Refocus political policy to grassroots participation. (5) Encourage well-structured competition among parties. (6) Advocacy – involve the people themselves.

Policy Evaluation

To evaluate the policies, the paper uses the following set of criteria

1.     Equity

The outcome of the policy should create a balance between the policy client and the general population. If the effects of the policy disproportionately elevate the target group from the public it could create a difference of have and have-nots.

2.     Administrative Operability

 The policy outcome must be implemented within the present political, social, and administrative context hence the ACAs must have sufficient authority to influence decision making, have augmented institutional commitment, and organizational support of stakeholders.

3.     Technical Feasibility

The outcome should achieve its intended purpose i.e. “uprooting corruption in civil service resulting in loss of taxpayer’s money” and should work in a technical sense. The policy must be measurable and sustainable in the short and long-term. Moreover, the technical support and equipment required should be obtainable and within means in terms of its operation.

4.     Political Viability

The policy outcome must be agreeable based on responsiveness, appropriateness, and legal criteria to the related actors/stakeholders – which includes the parliament, judiciary, agency heads, public welfare organizations, ACA’s like FIA and NAB as well as international regulatory authorities like UN and TIP.

Evaluating Alternative One/Status quo

The first alternative being the status quo is the simplest and easiest policy alternative out of the given options. Choices present different opportunities and opportunities present costs. If we continue to implement National Anti-corruption Policy and continue to delegate all authority to the NAB we will observe the following changes in decision criteria:

Equity: This alternative is equitable in the context that it prevents, monitors, and combats corruption uniformly. Being federal institutes the NAB and FIA deal with all categories of corruption from all geographic areas of Pakistan. Vis-à-vis supervising provincial organizations, the federal keeps an iron fist in matters of corruption.

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Administrative Operability: NACP focuses on a centralized approach to tackle corruption by issuing commands and executing orders from the federal level. This involves reduced offices and a homogenous workforce.

Technical Feasibility: Technically the Model Accountability structure is an infeasible solution to the issue of corruption because most of the federal government is comprised of Punjabi residents. Punjab has always been the center of attention for government programs and hence smaller provinces have been ignored. Today Balochi people observe a marked increase in ethnic discrimination while applying for government jobs (a form of corruption).

Political Viability: On the national level, the NAB has taken positive strides in its crusade against corruption. It has gained friends and made enemies as well. Fair politicians like Imran Khan openly support the national program despite the fact its credit goes to Musharraf. On the other hand, corrupt politicians make attempts to secretly sabotage the program hence hampering its political acceptability.

Evaluating Alternative Two

Equity: Steps like judicial/educational reforms give pure indications that Transparency International Pakistan’s Strategic Framework (TIPSF) considers impartiality a necessary criterion for policy design. Keeping in view the decentralized approach of rounding up all stakeholders in the war against corruption, the TIPSF gives voice to all segments of the population by promoting fairness and equity.

Administrative Operability: The drawback of TIPSF is that it is an alternative still present on the chalkboard. The program requires a total restructuring of authority from NAB to the TIP. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee of a program’s success – it can only be observed after its implementation. This is the case of TIPSF’s administrative operability. In comparison to the status quo, this alternative provides no surety that its decentralized approach will succeed.

Technical Feasibility: Technically this program cannot be gauged until its implementation. However, on detailed observation, we say that its principles of developing operational capacity, knowledge and skills, and advocacy for change may prove to be methodologically simple. With the active role of media nowadays this cycle can gain momentum pretty quickly.

Political Viability: Politicians usually tend to prefer the status quo and so do the people. Human beings are uncomfortable with change and it might be so in this case as well. Knowledge and skill development, advocacy, and promotion of civil society might not be in the opinionated interest of the feudal politicians of Pakistan.

Evaluating Alternative Three

Equity: This out of the box approach has a clear win-win situation in the criteria of equity. By proposing a Multi-Segmented Eminent Persons group in the short term and a clear emphasis on the development of human rights in the long-term, this policy intended for the Philippines will be impartial in its operations in Pakistan.

Administrative Operability: By providing a clear short term decentralized sketch along with a long-term federal action plan, this alternative scores high in administrative operability as well.

Technical Feasibility: Technically this option is practicable as well because the Philippines possesses many similarities to Pakistan in terms of sociology. In both countries, the political elite primarily comprises of feudal masters, tribal chiefs, and clan lords. Both nations suffer from the oligarch & clan syndrome, the root cause of institutional weakness. If this policy has been feasible in the Philippines, it should be successful in Pakistan as well.

Political Viability: Such a revolutionary approach might not be politically viable. Pakistan comprising of four provinces holds a wide variety of mindsets. Some are open to change others are conservative. This option is only suitable for provinces that are administered by pro-change political parties like Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf in KPK.

Table 1: Decision Matrix

CriteriaMeasureAlternative One (Status Quo)Alternative TwoAlternative Three
EquityThe outcome of the policy should create a balance between policy clients and the general population  Good Uniformity on a national level by the federal agencyExcellent Judicial and educational reforms ensure equityExcellent Involves the public in decision making  via Multi-segmented Eminent Persons Group
Administrative OperabilityEase of administration and expansion of resources in the implementation of the programGood Centralized operations, the delegation of tasks. Ideal bureaucracyPoor Total delegation of authority from NAB to TIPGood Short term solutions   Long term solutions   Both coincide perfectly with each other
Technical FeasibilityTechnically capable of implementation. Presence of  methodological capitalPoor Punjabization factor   Failure to detect corruption in other provincesGood Involves a decentralized approach by considering media as a policy partnerExcellent The oligarch & clan syndrome present in both populations thus the program is feasible in Pakistan
Political ViabilityThere is sufficient political will to implement the policy and do political appointees have any gain from itGood Supported by honest parties   Against the political interest of parties involved in corruptionNormal Governments tend to avoid transparency   Politicians comprised of Rural elite avoid advocacy of social issues to maintain powerPoor Completely dissolves the political power of the rural based elite   The policy is against their interest, therefore, they will reject it.

Table 2: Comparison of Policy Alternatives

(Parties/Stakeholders/Alternatives Matrix and Political Matrix)

Parties/Stakeholders/Alternatives Matrix and Political MatrixNational Anti-corruption policy (NACP)Transparency Institute Pakistan Strategic Framework (TIPSF)Anti-corruption Strategy for the Philippines (ACSP)
Legislature+
Civil service of Pakistan+
Legal system and Judiciary+++
Print, digital and social mediaO++
NGO’sO++
CSO’s (USAID, Aga Khan Foundation)OO+
Public Accountability bodies (National Accountability Bureau, Federal Investigation Agency)+O
United Nations+++
Private SectorOO+
TOTAL5(+)1(+)4(+)
  • Key for Table 2:

(-) : disapproving of the alternative

(+): approving of the alternative

(O): neutral vis-à-vis the respective alternative

Best Choice Alternative

As far as these alternatives are concerned, the best choice seems to be the status quo i.e. National Anti-corruption Policy after scoring +5 in the stakeholder and alternatives matrix. In the decision matrix, however, the tinkered anti-corruption policy for the Philippines proves to be the best decision.

This means there is a gap between the most effective decision and the most efficient decision. There is no doubt that the ACSP is the best alternative of the three but it lacks political support and the acceptability vital for the implementation of policies in a democracy. The majority is the authority and if the majority denies the decision, then the judgment is delayed.

The best choice alternatives could be alternative number 4 which is the combination of alternative 1/status quo (National Anti-corruption Policy) and alternative 3 (Anti-Corruption Strategy for the Philippines).

Policy Recommendations

As for recommendations, the paper suggests alternative number 4 as a possible policy. A few of its features are as follows:

  • Blending in centralized regulation and monitoring capabilities with decentralized decision making. Creation of new agency or modification of NAB to adjust provincial anti-corruption agencies – distributing a portion of federal’s power amongst them.
  • Clear delegation of duties amongst federal and provincial units. The federal focuses on long-term measures such as advocacy, taxation, education, and judicial reform meanwhile provincial hubs focus on the short-term means like a declaration of assets, liberties, and sharp budgeting.
  • Developing strong relations with international organizations that have a strong stance against corruption. Active communication of federal anti-corruption units with these agencies.
  • Active, participatory style of government by involving citizens in the policymaking process. Provincial units formally recognize private anti-corruption cells. Support them with resources, law enforcement and manpower to grab hold of accused civil servants.
  • Create an environment of the free flow of information amongst agencies, regardless of scale, authority, or jurisdiction.

Appendix 1: Problem Tree Diagram

corruption tree diagram

References

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About the Author(s)

Ghassan has a Bachelor in Public Administration from NUST School of Social Sciences and Humanities. He is a life-long student and practitioner of public policy advocacy. His writings have highlighted the role of ICTs in e-governance, e-commerce, nonprofits, and social entrepreneurship in South Asia. He is currently employed in the commercial sector as a UX Executive, a UI Designer and a creative freelancer.

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