Today is: Sun, May 19, 2013
With funding from the Millennium Challenge Corporation, USAID managed the Philippines Threshold Program aimed at reducing opportunities for corruption and improving revenue generation. The Threshold Program was implemented from November 2006 to May 2009 and provided substantial training, research and equipment support to the Office of the Ombudsman and other anticorruption agencies to enhance their capability in investigating and prosecuting corruption.
But effective anticorruption enforcement requires enhancements beyond capacity-building. Anticorruption agencies need a system for the transparent monitoring of corruption cases, from investigation to trial. Institutional cooperation among accountability agencies must be harnessed and sustained for better detection of corruption and improvement of public sector systems. Corruption prevention standards at the national level would need to be cascaded to local governments. In October 2009, USAID and its implementing partner launched the Integrity Project to assist in overcoming these challenges.
The Integrity Project is a two-year cooperative agreement with Management Systems International (MSI) designed to assist the Ombudsman and the Department of Justice in developing a system for monitoring the progress of corruption cases. The project also provides technical assistance to the Constitutional Integrity Group (CIG), composed of the Ombudsman, Civil Service Commission and the Commission on Audit, for a more effective corruption detection and deterrence environment. The project is also supporting the application of corruption diagnostics in select local government units.
The Ombudsman intends to improve its information management capability and develop a reliable, integrated and uniform case records management system. The Integrity Project provides policy development and training support to Ombudsman offices to ensure that the information technology infrastructure put in place through the Threshold Program will be used for the successful prosecution of corruption and transparent monitoring of cases. Moreover, clear-cut procedures are being developed to guide field investigators in gathering and preserving evidence. The project assists the Ombudsman and the Department of Justice in developing a monitoring system to track the progress of over 14,000 corruption cases filed in Regional Trial Courts nationwide. The program will provide small grants to select civil society organizations for a court-watch initiative.
In 2004, the Ombudsman, Commission on Audit and Civil Service Commission came together to forge a memorandum of agreement for collectively pursuing anticorruption reforms such as clear delineation of jurisdiction on administrative cases against public officials, joint training of investigators, establishment of gifts and benefits policy, and review of asset disclosure policy. In December 2009, Constitutional Integrity Group (CIG) renewed their commitment in fighting corruption. The Integrity Project provides technical assistance to the CIG policy and working committees, particularly in enhancing the use of asset disclosures and financial audits in corruption prosecution and asset recovery.
The Integrity Project is also supporting the application of the integrity development review (IDR) in pilot local governments. Developed with USAID support in 2004, the IDR is a set of data gathering tools that will enable a public sector agency to conduct a self-assessment on the extent to which systems, processes and practices are vulnerable to corruption. The Integrity Project is now refining the IDR to make it more suitable for local administration. Application of the IDR in 10 local government units is planned after the May 2010 elections.
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