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Title: Transparency and Corruption in Southeast Asia
Contributor(s): Zafarullah, Habib Mohammad (author)orcid ; Siddiquee, NA (author)
Publication Date: 2004
DOI: 10.1081/E-EPAP-120024435
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Abstract: In the contemporary world, effective democratic governance is anchored, among other key factors, on the degree of openness that governments exhibit in political and administrative affairs and the amplitude of integrity public administrators demonstrate in performing their official routine. Democracy cannot thrive in an environment of secrecy, as the free flow of information is imperative for people to follow and scrutinize the operations of a representative government, assess the policies and decisions it makes, and appraise the conduct of its personnel. Open government, which can promote a culture of probity within the public service, facilitates the consolidation and gradual deepening of democracy. It strengthens the structures of accountability by applying the wherewithal to reduce malfeasance and corruption in public organizations. The more transparent a government is, the fewer will be the opportunities for public administrators and managers to resort to corrupt practices in the tasks they perform and deeper will be people's capacity to exercise control over arbitrary state power. Framing public policies behind closed doors or adhering to obscure procurement and financial practices can lead to making erroneous choices that may have adverse implications for the community and beyond. The immoderate exercise of bureaucratic discretion in a closed secretive environment or the influence of nontransparent corporate culture and the almost unbound volition of oligopolists to control competition in the market place result in corruption. Thus in the symbiotic relationship between corruption and opacity, discretion and monopoly are critical factors, and the social and economic fallout of inordinate opacity and pervasive corruption can be a bane for democracy and development.
Publication Type: Entry In Reference Work
Source of Publication: Encyclopedia of Public Administration and Public Policy, p. 290-294
Publisher: Marcel Dekker
Place of Publication: New York, USA
ISBN: 0824747488
Field of Research (FOR): 160599 Policy and Administration not elsewhere classified
HERDC Category Description: B2 Chapter in a Book - Other
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