INDIA: More the multiplicity of Anti Corruption Agencies, more the Corruption!
In my studies on corruption and the measures taken around the world on tackling it, I’ve observed one singular thing: The more the number of anti corruption agencies in a country, worse their ranking on corruption by worldwide organisations!
It doesn’t take a PhD to realise the commonsense reason: Multiplicity leads to:
1. Lack of accountability in performance
2. Overlapping of functions
3. Inefficiencies that actually lead to an increase in corruption
The note below gives in brief the basis of my conclusions. Read for yourself.
Now you may argue that the US which also has 6 institutions listed (of which some are private ) has a corruption ranking of 17 while India which also has 5 + a List! Has a ranking of 70. WHY? That’s answered by the report of the World Bank (also quoted below). The QUALITY and EFFICIENCY of delivery of public services in India is pathetic. That’s why a multiplicity of ACAs has resulted in an INCREASE in Corruption. The case for one effective institution like the Lokpal & Lokayukta with ALL the ACAs coming under it is emergent to fight corruption.
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes. – Marcel Proust
——————- Management Summary ————————————-
The single most comprehensive list of Anti Corruption links on the web is here.
This list itself shows that almost every country has but one nodal agency. The EU has two – one for EU as a whole and one for Global.
If you scroll down the list only India has SIX INSTITUTIONS listed as having some role in anti corruption. See Appendix 1. The other countries that list with more than 1 or 2 are (along with Corruption ranking 2009):
Sl. Country Corruption Rank
1. USA 17
2. Argentina 83
3. Brazil 54
4. Mexico 79
5. Colombia 61
6. Liberia 70
7. INDIA 70
A perusal of this list in conjunction with corruption ranking by world audit organisation (click here) their ranks mentioned alongside (above).
The list also has another “List” listed for India with a link that doesn’t work!! There are no such entries for any other country’s anti-corruption agencies.
The World Bank Study on “Reforming Public Services in India” (Feb 2006) says:
“Nor is the country well organized to combat corruption: A multiplicity of overlapping anti-corruption agencies, and dilatory legal processes for tackling cases, has made it difficult to bring the corrupt to book. India’s campaign finance regime also has potentially negative effects on service delivery: The unregulated cost of elections – and the lack of legitimate funding sources, including a system of public funding – has created incentives to extract rents from administrative functions, including the delivery of services, to fund campaign expenses or pay back contributors. Despite, these systemic problems, many innovations in service delivery have taken place in different sectors and states with positive results for citizens, as this report shows.”
And goes on to add:
“1.6 The lack of accountability in turn provides opportunities for corruption. India ranked in ninetieth place in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) in 2005. Nor is the country well organized to combat corruption: A multiplicity of anti-corruption institutions with overlapping functions undermines their coherence: A patchwork of Lok Ayuktas, State Vigilance Commissions, and Anti-Corruption Bureaus with widely varying functions constitutes the system for punishing corruption in India’s states. Because law and order is a state subject, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) cannot pursue corruption allegations against a member of the All-India Services, including the IAS, without state government permission. Departmental disciplinary processes are weak: Civil servants have misused Article 311 of the Constitution, which provides protection against wrongful dismissal, to draw out cases against them to extreme lengths, making it difficult to remove a government servant for non-performance. The Hota Committee on Administrative Reforms has recommended that Article 3 11 be amended to allow for the expedited removal of civil servants involved in corruption cases.”
A multiplicity of ACAs has resulted in an INCREASE in corruption in India as is evident from India’s 2005 ranking Vs it’s 2008 ranking on Corruption.