REPORT - DECEMBER 2012
Legal Structures to address the Problem of Corruption in Pakistan
This report reviews the key issues in creating a legal framework that will allow Pakistan toaddress the problem of corruption. As such it pays relatively little attention to the relatedissue of how to implement such a framework but instead argues that without an effectivelegal basis, no level of commitment will make a significant difference.Corruption is a major problem. It sees public resources mis-allocated and what should bedisinterested public administration conducted in the interests of narrow groups rather thanthe populace as a whole. Equally it creates the environment in which organised crimecan become embedded in the state. In addition, the nature and scope of corruptionvaries over time. So, for example, a number of states have recently started to pay attention to theregulation of professional lobbyists as these too represent one means by which publicadministration can be distorted in the interest of specific groups. In addition, the growing use of theprivate sector to deliver services on behalf of the state is creating new conflicts of interest andnew sources of corruption.In summary, the paper argues that an effective corpus of anti-corruption legislation rests onthree related pillars:1. Disclosure of assets and information;2. Clear definitions of what is meant by corruption;3. Protection of whistle-blowers.These are all closely related. A requirement for the open disclosure of assets held by ministers and public officials is aowerful means to reduce the capacity to hide the proceeds from corruption. In effect, it hasthe potential to reveal when an individual has assets that are in excess of what could beafforded from their notional salary. Related to this is the need for effective Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation. FOI legislation is particularly useful to expose corruption in theaward of state contracts so it is important that it covers any organisation undertaking to provideservices that are paid for from public funds. A clear definition of corruption is essential as it forms the basis for an effective legal code.Specific issues include the receipt of gifts, restraint on taking up employment after leavingpublic service (either as a minister or an official), interaction with non-national companies aswell as defining the range of who is covered (again not just ministers or public officials butalso employees of private companies).