Anti-corruption commissions: lessons for the Asia-Pacific region from a proposed Australian federal anti-corruption watchdog

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Journal Article
Asia Pacific Business Review, 2019, 25 (4), pp. 571 - 599
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© 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This paper reviews the experience of anti-corruption commissions in the region and argues that the debate on the establishment of a national anti-corruption body in Australia is dependent on the country’s political culture, institutions and elites. Corruption and integrity coexist and are conceived as the obverse and converse, respectively, of a functional and dysfunctional system. Anti-corruption bodies in the Asia-Pacific region are compared against applicable global anti-corruption frameworks, policies and principles. The paper proposes a conceptual model for a National Integrity Ecosystem (NIE), premised on community values and trust and situates the Australian experience within such an ecosystem. A federal anti-corruption watchdog is the missing piece in Australia’s institutional infrastructure. Its acceptance and effectiveness require difficult and sustained change in the underlying political culture of the country and its elites.
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