Anti-Corruption Agencies

Anti-corruption agencies are important, and contested, players in the fight against corruption. Find the latest evidence on their value and performance on this theme page

The number of Anti-corruption agencies (ACAs) around the world has increased dramatically over the past decades. Nevertheless, the value of ACAs is increasingly being questioned by international donors and national governments. Frequently, ACAs are not considered to deliver on the high expectations bestowed upon then. The question is by which measure - and how - we assess the performance of these institutions, and how we can best improve their performance. On this page you can:

2013 OECD specialised AC institutionsPage001
Author: Vera Devine and Inese Gaika
Release date: March 2013

Specialised Anti-Corruption Institutions. Review of Models: Second Edition

This is an update of a 2008 review. Description (by the OECD): "This report provides a comparative overview of common standards and key features of specialised anti-corruption institutions and comprehensive descriptions of 19 anti-corruption institutions operating in different parts of the world, presented in a comparable framework. This new edition of an 2008 report reflects the evolving understanding of international standards and the practice and the most recent experiences of anti-corruption institutions. The report discusses three "models" of anti-corruption institutions: multi-functional anti-corruption agencies, institutions fighting corruption through law enforcement and prevention institutions."


Executive summary

Part I. International Standards and Models of Anti-corruption Institutions

Chapter 1. Sources of International Standards

Chapter 2. Elements of International Standards

Chapter 3. Models of Anti-corruption Institutions

Part II. Selected Models of Specialised Anti-corruption Institutions

Chapter 4. Multi-purpose Anti-corruption Agencies

Chapter 5. Law Enforcement Type Institutions

Chapter 6. Corruption Prevention Institutions

Author: Agnes Batory
Release date: July 2012

Political Cycles and Organizational Life Cycles: Delegation to Anticorruption Agencies in Central Europe

Abstract: A large number of “independent” anticorruption agencies (ACAs) sprung up around the world in past decades. Yet little comparative work has been done to explain the diversity of their organizational forms or development trajectories. Using insights from regulatory theory and the regulation of government literature, this article argues that the formal powers and independence ACAs are granted crucially depend on whether external and/or domestic impetuses for setting them up can counterbalance governments' incentives for no action, or only symbolic action. The ACAs' initial mandate influences but does not determine how they fare in later life: Support or obstruction from ruling governments, their own ability to use strategic resources, and leadership shape the extent to which the agencies are able to carry out their tasks in practice. These arguments are examined through comparison of three ACAs in the European Union's “new” member states—Latvia, Poland, and Slovenia.


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