Efforts to curb corruption appear to be gaining crucial momentum in Kyrgyzstan, as a bill on conflict of interest gathers cross-sector support. The bill, drafted with technical help from the USAID-IDLO Kyrgyzstan Judicial Strengthening Program, is being formally championed by Erkin Alymbekov, chairman of the Human Rights committee of the Kyrgyz parliament.
By transferring resources from public to private hands, corruption negates the benefits of development. Similarly, favoritism and nepotism are the antithesis of fairness and equality. It is no coincidence that the most corrupt polities are also the poorest, most unequal and most justice-deficient. If the rule of law and development are to take hold, good governance is a necessary condition.
For this reason, IDLO has undertaken to expand its portfolio of integrity-focused projects. Promoting good governance is an area so broad as to be almost inexhaustible. In our case, it may mean helping countries make the institutions of justice cleaner and more responsive; reducing conflict of interest in procurement and public life; seeking to ensure adequate funding for the judiciary; or strengthening the capacity to fight fraud and economic crime.
Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has spoken of his appreciation of IDLO’s record in his country – by his own admission, “not an easy place to work in”. His comments came during a meeting in Rome with IDLO Director-General Irene Khan, on Sept. 17.
Anti-corruption and integrity-building efforts are being seen as a means to achieve better development outcomes, rather than a mere moral endeavor. In its most explicit involvement with the topic yet, IDLO has told Albania that it is ready to assist its attempts to cut corruption and boost the rule of law.
The Ombudsman of the Republic of Indonesia handles citizens’ complaints about public service delivery and maladministration. Often, similar complaints are filed, or citizens return with additional grievances, leading to the refiling of cases and extra legal and administrative costs. The Ombudsman of Indonesia seeks to improve its service delivery, its effectiveness when handling complaints and its relationship with citizens and other stakeholders.
Through its decentralization and anti-corruption efforts, the Government of Ukraine is attempting to improve and extend the application of e-governance, or digital, tools in public administration based on international best practices. Over 100 existing registries and databases managed by various state institutions lack interoperability and do not allow for smooth exchanges of data between each other.
Corruption can be difficult to uncover, especially as technology is increasingly used to conceal corrupt behavior. Corruption cases handled by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) that involve electronic evidence, such as e-mails or social media posts, have contributed to a conviction rate of 100 percent. Yet, law enforcement officers do not always allow electronic evidence in courts, and standard operational procedures providing guidance on electronic evidence handling and a digital forensic lab that meets international standards are lacking.
While the new Constitution of Kenya, 2010 provides for the right of every Kenyan to access justice, its implementation is vital to strengthen and support the changes required for a better Kenya. IDLO is supporting the Kenyan Government to implement the Constitution in an effective, efficient and sustainable manner, in accordance with international standards and best practices. This is being done with a view to enhancing access to justice for Kenyans, especially for women, children and other vulnerable populations.
The Constitution of Kenya, adopted in 2010, made way for a new governance system composed of a national government and 47 county governments. Most of the assistance provided to the county governments has been focused on technical support. However, there is also a need to support the preparation of quality draft legislation to the county assemblies so that it meets the constitutional requirements.