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UNODC's Sixth Talk Series

Lessons for Indonesia from Global Good Practices in Countering Corruption

Jakarta (Indonesia), 5 October 2009 - In its 6th talk series, UNODC Indonesia took the opportunity to invite members of the public, Government of Indonesia, donors and practitioners to learn about good practices from around the globe in the fight against corruption.

UNODC Indonesia's talk series on Indonesia's fight against corruption is held each month. Both international and local experts are invited to lead a discussion on a corruption theme. This month's topic proved popular with close to 90 people attending.

Mr. Oliver Stolpe, Chief, Justice and Integrity Unit, UNODC Vienna led an informative discussion on global good practices in countering corruption. Mr. Stolpe primarily drew on his experiences in Nigeria implementing a European Commission funded program on judicial integrity and capacity over the past eight years. Lessons learned were also drawn from reform processes that have been carried out in Kenya and Europe.

Mr. Stolpe outlined the evolution of international anti-corruption instruments and provided an update on progress being made to secure agreement on the establishment of a review mechanism for the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC). Mr. Stolpe noted that the upcoming Third Conference of the States Parties (CoSP), to be held in Doha in November 2009, will deliberate on the adaptation of such a mechanism. Group Picture

Mr. Stolpe made a number of observations for governments, donors and other organisations to take into account when formulating anti-corruption programs. Some of these included:

  • Conflict between anti-corruption bodies and parliamentary and government bodies is common worldwide. In Europe for example, there are instances where anti-corruption bodies have been abolished or their heads removed causing controversial discussion in the media and dividing public opinion. Anti-corruption efforts do not follow a linear path but go through highs and lows due to the political nature of corruption as well as of anti-corruption efforts. It is important that donors, governments and civil society therefore stay the course in difficult times and not give up too easily their support their support to the overall anti-corruption effort.
  • With an ever growing number of Governments ratifying the United Nations Convention against Corruption, as well as relevant regional instruments against corruption, national efforts as well as related technical assistance should focus on supporting countries in meeting their respective commitments under these instruments.
  • Balancing enforcement and prevention: at an organisational level, strengthening systems and processes that reduce opportunities for fraud and corruption and encourage professional conduct has proved more effective than targeting specific 'corrupt' individuals. For example, the decision to introduce a functional performance management system in the public service as well as specific professional ethics training have resulted in significant improvements of the integrity of the public service at large
  • Public sector management skills are critical for those recruited in leadership positions within anti-corruption bodies. There are numerous instances where leaders of anti-corruption agencies have been recruited purely on the strength of their integrity and have lacked the managerial skills required to grow an important public sector institution.
  • Support for regional dialogue amongst anti-corruption agencies has yielded good results. Regional associations enable like-minded agencies to discuss challenges, encourage peer learning and provides the opportunity for the exchange of technical support as in the case of the Eastern African anti-corruption agencies