Corruption is a menace and is instrumental in bad governance. It also negates development prospects across social and economic areas of life. Hence, it is essential to formulate policies to combat corruption across all government and corporate bodies. As a result of this, there are agencies created to review government and corporate bodies’ activities.
In Australia, they are about five located in New South Wales; Queensland; South Australia, Victoria, and Western Australia. These commissions include the independent commission against corruption; the crime and corruption commission, the independent commissioner against corruption; the independent broad-based anti-corruption commission and the corruption and crime commission.
Caps on Donation
This donation concerns one made to political parties to finance most of their activities which is not restricted to campaign programs. However, it may promote inequality as the candidate with the most funding may be most likely to win.
Another outcome of making donations is that candidates, when sworn to office, have tendencies to favour their donors except where the donors are anonymous. More so, that individuals or bodies outside Australia can donate and subsequently acquire influence to change or modify decisions is unsettling. The electoral funding system must, therefore, be reviewed and reformed.
First, guidelines must be in place to limit donations and campaign funding to promote corruption. Also, the electoral body must ban any form of financing from outside the country.
Appointments to Public Offices
One of the significant areas in which corruption has eaten deeply into is the public service. There are no strict procedures to guide the recruitment exercise, and thus, the best are not always the ones who get the jobs. General officers in charge of recruitment are often guilty of bribery and gross misconduct.
Appointments are primarily based on unmerited favour, privileged relationship, favouritism etc. Besides, there is a lack of accountability and transparency. Hence, a framework must be in place to ensure a merit-based recruitment process.
Ministerial Employment and Lobbying
Ministers are officials saddled with managing a particular sector, often as assistance to the Prime Minister or president. The process of appointing ministers is not free of corruption. There are usually several people lobbying for such positions.
It is also essential to place restrictions on former ministers and aides and hold them accountable for their actions while in office. Most of them seek to reap improper benefits, particularly those they are unmerited for. Upon vacation of office, these ministers seek employment under their portfolio while also funding such jobs.
In other countries, specific bans are placed on such activities such as
- Restriction of post-ministerial work in any private sector.
- Ban on the undue advantage of previous positions
- Ban on lobbying for 12 months after the office
- Seeking approval from an independent set-up committee before taking up appointments in the private sector after two years of office.
Australia has improved tremendously in this area. It has a code of conduct that places restrictions on ministers after they leave office; however, it has been advocated that the period of limitation should extend from 18months to 2 years. Also, the government must limit lobbyists’ activities that may endanger the corrupt free lifestyle of a country. Therefore, mechanisms must be in place to expose lobbying activity.