11 Mar Proposal for an Online Service for Reporting Corruption in UK Local Government
Written by Ewan Lusty
Formatted by Brendan Tan
Corruption is increasingly on the UK policy-making agenda. In December 2014 the Government published a comprehensive Anti-Corruption Plan, consisting of 66 points for further action in addressing corruption, acting on repeated warnings from journalists, academics, and NGOs about the threat corruption poses in the UK and the need for an active policy response. Although this plan is wide-ranging in its scope and ambition, further thought and discussion is necessary to determine the exact shape of this action.
This paper proposes an online service that will act as both an easily accessible reporting mechanism and an information hub. It will allow citizens both to report corruption and to understand the principal corruption risks in more detail. It will specifically target corruption in local government, one of nine risk areas identified by the Anti-Corruption Plan. Because Scotland and Northern Ireland have separate institutional arrangements for tackling corruption, this proposal will confine itself to England and Wales. It draws on a wide range of existing innovations around the world, including from low- and middle-income countries. In particular, India and Ukraine offer valuable examples of how to incorporate citizens’ use of technology into an anti-corruption strategy.