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Evaluating the effectiveness of anti-corruption agencies in five Asian countries: A comparative analysis

Jon S. T. Quah (Anti-Corruption Consultant, Singapore)

Asian Education and Development Studies

ISSN: 2046-3162

Article publication date: 5 January 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is threefold: first, to ascertain the levels of effectiveness of the anti-corruption agencies (ACAs) in China, Japan, Philippines, Singapore and Taiwan; second, to explain why some of these ACAs are more effective than others; and third, to suggest some policy recommendations for addressing their limitations.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper relies on three well-known international indicators to assess the perceived extent of corruption in the five countries. Similarly, their quality of governance is assessed by their total percentile rank on the World Bank’s six governance indicators in 2013.

Findings

Singapore’s Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau is effective because of its government’s political will and favorable policy context. The Philippines and Taiwan rely on ineffective multiple ACAs, which are inadequately staffed and funded, and compete with each other for limited resources. China’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection is ineffective because corrupt party members are disciplined and not prosecuted, and the political leaders use corruption as a weapon against their opponents. Japan’s weak political will is reflected in its reluctance to address its structural corruption. This paper concludes with policy recommendations for enhancing the effectiveness of the ACAs in the five countries.

Originality/value

The comparative analysis of the effectiveness of the ACAs in the five Asian countries and the policy recommendations for addressing their limitations will be of interest to policy makers, scholars and anti-corruption practitioners.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The author would like to thank Professor Eric Vincent C. Batalla of the De La Salle University in Manila for providing him with updated information on the five anti-corruption agencies in the Philippines. The author is also grateful to Professor Chilik Yu of Shih Hsin University in Taipei for obtaining the 2012 budget of Taiwan’s Agency Against Corruption for him.

Citation

Quah, J.S.T. (2015), "Evaluating the effectiveness of anti-corruption agencies in five Asian countries: A comparative analysis", Asian Education and Development Studies, Vol. 4 No. 1, pp. 143-159. https://doi.org/10.1108/AEDS-10-2014-0050

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited