9.4 Supporting external oversight bodies
In countries where the more traditional oversight methods – from audit institutions to parliaments, judiciary systems, and anti-corruption agencies – are ineffective, influenced by political interests, or captured by corrupt networks, it might be necessary to establish independent oversight institutions backed by the international community. Non-governmental bodies can help hold powerful governments and officials to account by creating pressure for change; developing and providing expertise; supporting agents of change within government institutions; and even directly confronting and dismantling corrupt networks. This can be especially important for the defence and security sector, often treated as exceptional and the last to come under state scrutiny. The international community can play a key role in supporting these initiatives, facilitating the bodies’ work, and providing information.
Independent oversight bodies: Afghanistan, Guatemala and Palestine
In Afghanistan, Guatemala and Palestine – all post-conflict states struggling with low capacity and different degrees of state capture – innovative independent initiatives seeking to exercise an oversight role took hold: the International Commission against Impunity (CICIG) in Guatemala, the Joint International Anti-Corruption Monitoring and Evaluation Committee (MEC) in Afghanistan and an NGO-led Civil Forum to Promote Good Governance in the Security Sector (Civil Platform) in Palestine. These initiatives have been rooted in or strongly supported by local civil society, and – while maintaining a cooperative relationship – have had a significant degree of independence from governments. All have focused on driving forward public sector accountability in challenging security environments where state capacity was low, but have done so in very different ways, with varying mandates and powers. CICIG is an investigative and capacity-building organisation enjoying a significant degree of international support. The MEC, a joint Afghan-international committee (three Afghan and three international members supported by a secretariat), focuses on monitoring reforms; and the Platform, a civil society group, attempts to effect changes through informal channels and relationship building conducted out of the public eye.View external case study
Independent monitoring in Ukraine: NAKO
In Ukraine, the Independent Defence Anti-Corruption Committee (NAKO), supported by Transparency International and international donors, brings together 3 international and 3 Ukrainian members to analyse corruption risks in the Ukrainian defence and security sector, monitor and push for reform efforts, and offer recommendations to the Ukrainian government and the international community. Independent of the government, NAKO helps build transparency and accountability where national institutions lack the capacity or willingness to play that role.View external case study
- Audit units