Strengthening anti-corruption institutions, modernizing public administration, increasing transparency and accountability

Transparency International defines corruption as the "abuse of entrusted power for private gain or advantage". Corruption has many facets, for example the policeman who turns a blind eye for a small tip or the administrative official selling building permits. Corrupt actions have fatal consequences - on the economic as well as on the political and social level. Through corruption, public money is squandered rather than being used to promote sustainable development. Private interests are pursued - to the detriment of the general public. Measures to prevent and combat corruption (in short: anti-corruption) are usually closely linked to reforms to promote good governance. For example, administrative reforms help to simplify work processes and thus reduce the opportunities for corrupt action. Clear, merit-based rules for the allocation of positions and promotions prevent nepotism and contribute to the professionalisation of administrative staff. In addition, promoting transparency in public finance can reduce corruption and increase the likelihood that misuse of public funds will be detected. Transparency obliges public authorities to be increasingly accountable to the citizens and to involve them in decision-making.

Consequently, several factors are important in the context of cooperation to prevent and fight corruption: First, strengthening institutions to prevent and fight corruption. Secondly, a modernisation, simplification and digitalisation of public administration, through which an increase in transparency may be achieved. Thirdly, support to the civil society in holding its government accountable for complying with anti-corruption commitments. Furthermore, support for increased freedom of information and investigative journalism may provide additional external scrutiny.

In a global comparison, Germany sets an exemplary standard in good governance. The indicators for Control of Corruption (CoC) and Government Effectiveness (GE), determined by the World Bank, rank Germany among the least corrupt and among the most efficient governments in the world. This is also due to a performance-oriented administration and a judiciary and civil service of the highest integrity. Germany has a stable constitutional framework, and both federalism and the separation of powers reduce the administrative scope of power and discretion. In this way, expertise can be provided as part of the cooperation to strengthen the professional competences of the employees of anti-corruption authorities in the area of investigation and prosecution of corruption offences. In addition, support may be provided in establishing transparent procedures for selecting judges and filling positions in the judiciary.

The Governance Fund, through its network of experts, offers the opportunity to exchange experiences on matters of preventing and combating corruption in order to enhance state performance and thus sustainable development. The Governance Fund's support services encompass moderated exchanges of expertise and experience, short-term assignments of decision-makers and experts in the partner country, study trips to Germany and workshops.