Participation of society affords those who are affected by a decision to be involved in the decision making process. Corruption diminishes in direct proportion to public demand for integrity. There are a number of well accepted practices that support the participation of society in the fight against corruption and effective oversight of government, including Access to Information legislation and administrative and Parliamentary committee practices – open meetings, televised hearings, and inviting witnesses. There also are a number of creative anti-corruption initiatives, such as the experience in Kenya with constituency development funds where citizens have become directly involved in combating corruption or exercising oversight; and the “zero rupee note” in India.
The main mechanisms for parliamentarians to help increase public demand are:
- elections and political parties;
- the media; and
- civil society organizations.
The impact and effectiveness of each of these mechanisms on the actions of the executive branch and the civil society individuals and organizations that participate in corruption can be very different in different regions of the world.
Participation of Society Global Task Force
The Participation of Society Global Task Force (GTF-PoS) highlights the importance of parliamentarians engaging with their constituents and working collaboratively with civil society to raise awareness of corruption issues and lobby for legislative and administrative changes aimed at combatting corruption. It focuses on the representational role of parliamentarians in ensuring that the voice of the people is heard by government and reflected in appropriate anti-corruption legislation and it demonstrates the advantages of incorporating the technical expertise of civil society organizations in formulating policy and legislation.
The GTF-PoS engages and motivates GOPAC Regional and National Chapters and parliamentarians through the sharing of experiences and best practices, and by promoting practical tools and techniques for public engagement on anticorruption issues. It helps different parliamentary systems develop suitable legislation to promote transparency, access to information, and protection of civil rights for those who take a stand against corruption.
Fernanda Borges, Former parliamentarian, East Timor
Paula Bertol, Parliamentarian, Argentina
Hon Gerald Karuhanga, Parliamentarian, Uganda
Hon Ali Ashal, Parliamentarian, Yemen
Sen Pia Cayetano, Senator, Philippines