Initiatives taken by the Commission
1. National Anticorruption Strategy
The Central Vigilance Commission has taken the initiative of formulating a National Anticorruption Strategy which would serve as a concerted and coordinated approach to fighting corruption in India. The strategy recognises that corruption cannot be reduced by mere governmental action unless the citizens and private business entities refrain from indulging in corrupt practices. Corruption is a form of human behaviour which is reflective of the decline in professional ethics and social values. Anticorruption efforts over the last five decades were largely focussed on the demand side of corruption ignoring the equally culpable supply side. The proposed strategy therefore prescribes a participative and holistic approach to address corruption from all sides. The draft strategy has been forwarded to the government and all other stakeholders for their comments and suggestions. After obtaining the response and endorsement of the stakeholders, the final strategy would be recommended for adoption.
2. Leveraging Technology to Prevent Corruption
Corruption in the delivery of public services occurs due to the exercise of discretionary powers and the need for the citizens to approach public officials. Therefore the use of technology and e-governance to minimise discretion and human intervention is the most effective means of preventing corruption in the delivery of public services which effects the ordinary citizens the most. The Commission had therefore adopted the strategy of “Leveraging Technology to Prevent Corruption” since 2004, wherein organisations are persuaded to adopt e-governance measures and computerise on priority all those activities which are vulnerable to corruption. The progress of various organisations in this regard has not been very assuring. The commission proposes to recommend to the government to adopt a mission mode approach towards computerising all delivery of public services.
3. Integrity in Public procurement
Public procurement being the government activity most vulnerable to corruption, has been a priority concern of the commission. The commission has adopted the following measures to mitigate corruption in public procurement:
a. Issuing guidelines to promote integrity in public procurement.
b. Persuading organisations to adopt e-procurement.
c. Since 2007, Commission has been promoting the concept of Integrity Pact developed by the Transparency International. It involves the signing of a pact between the procuring organisation and the bidders that they will not indulge in corrupt practices in the tendering, award and the execution of the contract. Only those bidders who sign the pact can participate in the bidding process. An independent external monitor is nominated by the commission to monitor the adherence to the pact by the two sides. More than 50 organisations including the ministries conducting major procurements have adopted the Integrity Pact so far and the experience has been satisfactory.
4. Awareness Campaign
The Commission has initiated a project to create awareness and educate the public on anti-corruption. The aim is to reduce people’s tolerance for corruption and reduce its social acceptability. Media agencies are being engaged to create the campaign in the electronic and print media besides various outreach activities. The campaign is slated to start from January, 2011.
5. Provision for Whistle Blowers
The provision for whistle blowers and their protection is already in place since 2004 under the Public Interest Disclosure & Protection of Informers’ Resolution (PIDPIR) wherein CVC is the designated authority to handle the “whistle blower complaints” and provide protection to the “whistle blowers”. Commission has been paying especial attention to complaints received under this Resolution to investigate them in a time bound manner with due protection to the complainants. A bill has been initiated in the Parliament to convert the Resolution into an Act which would further empower the CVC in protecting the whistleblowers.
6. Improving the Standard of Vigilance Work
To make the work of vigilance more objective and scientific the Commission is developing and adopting various standards to regulate vigilance investigations and reporting. While the reporting standard was adopted in August, 2009, a standard procedure for conduct of vigilance investigation has been developed and would be adopted shortly.
7. Computerisation of Commission’s Work
A project for workflow automation and IT enabling of the functioning of the Commission has been completed on 31st August, 2010 and is in the process of full roll out. The project is targeted to be fully operational by November, 2010. This would enhance the efficiency of the Commission in handling complaints and processing of investigation reports.
8. Modern Preventive Vigilance Framework
Anti-corruption efforts consist of a two pronged approach – punitive and preventive. While the vigilance efforts so far were largely punitive and reactive, Commission is now focussing on prevention which is a more efficient and effective means of checking corruption. Much of the prevailing preventive vigilance practices were developed in the 1970s which need to be reviewed in the present day context. A new preventive vigilance framework is being developed by the Commission which aims at aligning the vigilance work with the modern day approach of risk management and corporate governance. Standing Conference Of Public Enterprise (SCOPE) has been assigned the task of developing a new framework on pilot basis.
9. International Cooperation
The Commission gives due importance to international cooperation in anti-corruption which also helps in exchange of best global practices as well as capacity building of the personnel involved in anti-corruption work. The important developments pertaining to international cooperation are listed below:
a. Though India had signed the United Nations Convention against Corruption in 2005, it has not been ratified till date. The CVC had recommended the ratification of the Convention.
b. As a result of the interaction between the Commission and the Anti-Corruption Division of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), India has been granted the ‘Observer’ status in the Anti-Bribery Working Group of OECD. The Commission is in the process of studying the implications of the Convention for India.
c. The Central Vigilance Commissioner of India has been a member of the Executive Board of International Association of Anti Corruption Agencies (IAACA) since 2007.
d. The anti-corruption commissions of various countries and multilateral anti-corruption bodies have shown keen interest in the working of the Commission.