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Special Report: Tackling Corruption within Law Enforcement Agencies

February 2006

About the Report:

This report is derived from an Anti-Corruption Workshop held in Hanoi on 5-7 October 2005. This is the third in a series of regional workshops on corruption started by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) and the Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA). These regional workshops have over the years, focused the region's attention on the various facets of corruption. They have contributed to increasing awareness about the harm caused by corruption, facilitated information sharing on anti-corruption measures and encouraged ASEAN member states to take the necessary steps to build up a national integrity system to address corruption.

The Anti-Corruption Workshop in Hanoi focused attention on corruption within law enforcement agencies. The focus on and fight against corruption within law enforcement agencies is of crucial importance. Corruption within law enforcement perversely turns the very institution that should be centrally involved in rooting out corruption, into one that practices, pereptuates and profits from it. Corruption within this institution directly impacts the lives of very many ordinary citizens and thereby exacts a high social cost. Rampant corruption within law enforcement agencies undermines most anti-corruption efforts and will ultimately shake the public's confidence in their governments.

This workshop was well attended by Vietnamese state and party officials as they were eager to learn from the experiences of other Asian countries on tackling corruption. Vietnam has just drafted it own law on corruption, prevention and control, and the workshop demonstrated the political commitment to taking more positive steps in tandem with the new law.

This Report two key case studies of Singapore and Hong Kong presented at the Workshop. It highlights some of the common perspectives as well as differences that surfaced during the discussion with regards to how best to tackle corruption within law enforcement agencies. Using the example of the Philippines presented during the workshop, the role of media in general, and the practice of investigative journalism in exposing corruption is discussed. Discussion on the anti-corruption measures being taken in Vietnam are also summarised.


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