Korea’s innovative anti-corruption tools introduced to Palestinian policymakers

Jun 6, 2018

A knowledge-sharing webinar, co-hosted by UNDP Seoul Policy Centre (USPC) and UNDP in Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People (PAPP), was held on 6 June 2018 with some 40 participants from USPC, UNDP PAPP, UNDP/UN Women/UNICEF Sawasya Joint Program, Palestine Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC), and relevant ministries of Palestine. This webinar provided a unique opportunity to share Korea’s innovative anti-corruption policy tools, namely, the Anti-Corruption and Civil Right Commission (ACRC)’s Anti-Corruption Initiative Assessment (AIA) and Corruption Risk Assessment (CRA).

Dr. Hamdi Khawaja, Head of Planning Department of PACC, introduced the current anti-corruption initiatives and policies in Palestine. Since its establishment in 2010, PACC has been working on strategic planning to combat corruption by coordinating with civil society organizations, semi-government organizations, and ministries. Strategies include implementation of anti-corruption legislation and establishment of a corruption risk management/analysis tool. Dr. Khawaja emphasized that Palestine is in the process of improving its tools and that there is a cooperative will to tackle corruption within multiple sectors of society.

USPC provided an overview of ACRC’s AIA and CRA tools. Since 2002, ACRC has been conducting annual AIAs on public institutions to evaluate their anti-corruption efforts against pre-specified criteria and indicators. By doing so, AIA has promoted integrity within the public sector by providing clear and periodic guidance and incentives for behavioral change. In particular, AIA encourages further anti-corruption efforts in public administration by publicly publishing the results of AIA. 

CRA is another anti-corruption tool of ACRC, which has helped prevent corruption by identifying corruption risks within bills and legislations since 2006. ACRC conducts assessments of bills/legislations using 11 set criteria, and provide recommendations to government agencies.

An engaging Q&A session followed the presentations where Palestinian participants inquired about various aspects of the enforceability of such assessments. Discussions centered on the importance of fulfilling the broader legal mandate for implementing the assessments, the cultural context in which self-enforcement via public rankings is an effective means to enforce anti-corruption measures on public institutions, and the institutional capacity necessary to conduct and enforce these tools.

Both AIA and CRA are built upon the rationale that while enforcement of corrupt activities is essential, prevention measures, coupled with their awareness-raising and capacity-building effects, are equally crucial to bring about more effective and sustainable changes to the culture of corruption. Dr. Balázs Horváth, Director of USPC, emphasized that tools like AIA and CRA prove their effectiveness by focusing on the prevention of corruption, an area that often receives less attention than the enforcement of anti-corruption regulations. In this sense, Korea’s anti-corruption tools can usefully complement existing enforcement strategies.

Participants from Palestine expressed their interest in the two tools presented and noted how they wish to review them further in detail in order to adopt innovative and practical elements in their own anti-corruption work.

The webinar with Palestine was organized based on request from the UNDP PAPP office within the framework of USPC’s mandate to share Korea’s development experiences and tested-and-proven policy tools with other countries through UNDP’s global network.

                                                                                                                                              

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