codes of conduct

"Inviting a Tiger into Your Home": Indonesia Creates an Anti-Corruption Commission with Teeth, 2002 – 2007

Author
Gabriel Kuris
Focus Area(s)
Country of Reform
Internal Notes
Original draft of case posted September 2012. Correction in spelling of Tina Kemala's name made and new draft posted to the web in October 2012 by Sarah Torian. Minor style changes made and new draft posted to the Web in March 2013 by Suchi Mandavilli.

changed to bring to the front page. original posting 7/11/2014
Abstract
In 2002, under domestic and international pressure to confront corruption after the economic and political collapse of the 32-year Suharto regime, Indonesia established the Corruption Eradication Commission (the Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi, or KPK). The new commission had powers so strong that one anti-corruption activist said Indonesian politicians were “inviting a tiger into [their] home” by creating it. Still, the public reacted warily, mindful of past failures and distrustful of the commissioners approved by Parliament. After creating an effective operating structure, the commissioners spent more than a year building capacity by introducing innovative human resources policies, cutting-edge technologies, strong ethical codes and savvy investigative tactics. The commission then launched a series of investigations that netted dozens of high-level officials and politicians, with a 100% conviction rate. By the end of 2007, the KPK was standing on a stable foundation, buttressed by solid public support.
 
Gabriel Kuris drafted this case study based on interviews conducted in Jakarta, Indonesia in February and March 2012. For a look at the commission’s second term, see the Innovations for Successful Societies companion case study “Holding the High Ground with Public Support: Indonesia’s Anti-Corruption Commission Digs In, 2007-2011.” Note that many Indonesians have only one name, while others prefer to be referenced by their first name rather than their surname. This study follows the naming conventions used by local media and individuals themselves. Case published September 2012.

Holding the High Ground with Public Support: Indonesia's Anti-Corruption Commission Digs In, 2007 – 2011

Author
Gabriel Kuris
Country of Reform
Internal Notes
Original draft posted on 9/20. Correction to one footnote made on 10/16/12 and new version posted. Minor style changes made and new versions uploaded by SM on 03/25/2013.

original 7/11/2014
posted to the front on 9/27/2019
Abstract
When they assumed office in December 2007, the second-term members of Indonesia’s Corruption Eradication Commission faced high expectations. Established in 2002 in response to domestic and international pressure, the commission had broad responsibilities for combating corruption through investigation, prosecution, prevention and education. The first-term commissioners had built respect and credibility by taking on increasingly prominent cases and maintaining a perfect conviction record. During their first two years, the five second-term commissioners met the public’s high expectations with a string of high-profile arrests, including dozens of members of Parliament, high-level officials and a close relative of the president. They also ramped up preventive and educational measures to permanently reshape Indonesia’s corruption environment. After the 2009 elections, legislators worked to weaken the commission, and law enforcement leaders pressed criminal charges against the commissioners. Allies in media and civil society rallied the public around the agency, mostly frustrating the detractors. While some of the commissioners suffered personally, they left behind an institution with a strong public reputation. This case study documents the strategy the commissioners pursued to defend the agency against potential spoilers.
 

Gabriel Kuris drafted this study based on interviews conducted in Jakarta, Indonesia in February and March 2012. For a look at the establishment, structure and first-term leadership of the commission, see the Innovations for Successful Societies companion case study “‘Inviting a Tiger Into Your Home’: Indonesia Creates an Anti-Corruption Commission With Teeth, 2002-2007.” Note: many Indonesians have only one name, while others prefer to be referred to by their first names rather than their surnames. This study follows the naming conventions used by local media and individuals themselves. Case posted September 2012.

Associated Interview(s):  Erry Riyana Hardjapamekas

The Sum of its Parts: Coordinating Brazil’s Fight Against Corruption, 2003–2016

Author
Gordon LaForge
Focus Area(s)
Core Challenge
Country of Reform
Abstract

In 2003, reform-minded civil servants saw an opening to combat pervasive corruption within the government of Brazil. A new president who had promised to end political graft had just come into office. The question was how to secure the right legal instruments, overcome lack of capacity, and create the coordination needed to detect, prosecute, and sanction wrongdoers. The reformers organized an informal, whole-government network to combat money laundering and corruption. They identified shared priorities, coordinated interagency policy making, and tracked progress. Leaders in the judiciary, executive, and prosecutor’s service drafted enabling legislation, strengthened monitoring, improved information sharing, and built institutional capacity and specialization. Gradually, those efforts bore fruit, and by 2016, authorities were prosecuting the biggest corruption case in the country’s history and had disrupted an entrenched political culture.

Gordon LaForge drafted this case study based on interviews conducted in Brazil from December 2016 to February 2017. The British Academy-Department for International Development Anti-Corruption Evidence (ACE) Program funded the development of this case study. Case published February 2017. 

Mohammed Mokhlesar Rahman Sarker

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Focus Area(s)
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6
Critical Tasks
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Varanya Chaubey
Name
Mohammed Mokhlesar Rahman Sarker
Interviewee's Position
Director, Electoral Training Institute
Interviewee's Organization
Election Commission Secretariat, Bangladesh
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Bangladeshi
Town/City
Dhaka
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract
Mohammed Sarker discusses the role of the Electoral Training Institute—a sister organization to the Bangladesh Election Commission—in training all electoral management staff in Bangladesh. He explains the founding of the institute, and the role of the government of Bangladesh, international organizations and donors in strengthening the institution. Sarker reflects upon the training methods and curricula used by the institute, as well as its highly successful administrative structure.
Profile

At the time of this interview, Mohammed Mokhlesar Rahman Sarker was the director of the Electoral Training Institute, a sister organization to the Bangladesh Election Commission that is responsible for training the entire electoral staff in the country. He had held the position for two and a half years. Some time after the interview, he became deputy commissioner of the Lalmonirhat district of Bangladesh.

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41MB
Full Audio Title
Mohammed Sarker Interview

Shri Baijayant Jay Panda

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Focus Area(s)
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3
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Rushda Majeed
Name
Shri Baijayant Jay Panda
Interviewee's Position
Member, Lok Sabha
Interviewee's Organization
Lower House, Indian Parliament
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Indian
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

Jay Panda offers the perspective of a political party member on the work of the Elections Commission of India and its model code of conduct. He underscores the role of the Elections Commission in shaping perceptions of Indian democracy over the last two decades. Furthermore, Panda credits the model code of conduct for enhancing the credibility of the Elections Commission and its capacity for enforcement, contributing to its considerable institutional legitimacy. While he acknowledges that the code plays an important role in the conduct of fair elections and norm-building, he believes it imposes excessive logistical constraints. These constraints obey a specific logic. For instance, potential distortions arising from use of the code by incumbents to reduce contestation are prevented by subordinating the administrative apparatus to the Elections Commission in advance of elections. However, the regulations can be burdensome for the conduct of normal state affairs, including in the wake of natural disasters. In general, the party mobilizes through legal channels to appeal decisions that affect its candidates. Panda underscores the role of vigilance by opposing parties and rapid media coverage in securing compliance. As a result, implementation of the code at the party-level may require specialized staffers tasked with monitoring adherence to the code. This step is in agreement with the good governance platform of Panda's party, but may represent a more general trend due to the perceived considerable enforcement power of the Elections Commission. 

Case Study:  Implementing Standards without the Force of Law: India's Electoral Code, 1990-2001

Profile

Trained in engineering and management at Michigan Technological University, Shri Baijayant "Jay" Panda returned to India to run his family's company. That experience in the private sector motivated him to affect change by entering the political life. He is one of the founding members of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) party. He served in the Upper House of the Indian Parliament, the Rajya Sabha, for nine years. He is currently the representative for the constituency of Kendrapara (Orissa) in the lower house, the Lok Sabha. 

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30 MB
Full Audio Title
Jay Panda Interview

Kwadwo Afari-Gyan

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8
Critical Tasks
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Ashley McCants
Name
Kwadwo Afari-Gyan
Interviewee's Position
Chairman
Interviewee's Organization
Electoral Commission of Ghana
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Ghanaian
Town/City
Accra
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract
In this interview, Kwadwo Afari-Gyan explains the role of the Electoral Commission of Ghana in overseeing all public elections and referendums. He discusses the myriad responsibilities of the commission, including educating voters on the importance of participation and registering political parties and voters. He talks about the challenges of administering trustworthy elections in a country where improvements to voter registration, among other processes, are relatively new. He highlights the need for security measures to guard against fraud, and he details the creation of an Inter-Party Advisory Committee as a forum for the political parties to meet with the commission to discuss all aspects of the electoral process. 
 
Profile

At the time of this interview, Kwadwo Afari-Gyan was the chairman of the Electoral Commission of Ghana. He was instrumental in overseeing all aspects of the commission's activities, including the formation of the Inter-Party Advisory Committee, a forum for political parties to meet with the commission to discuss changes in electoral rules and procedures. He joined the commission in 1992 as the deputy chairman of elections and took up the chairmanship the following year. Prior to his work with the commission, he was a professor at the University of Ghana, Legon, and before that he taught at Santa Clara University in the U.S.  He graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara. 

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71 MB
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Kwadwo Afari-Gyan - Full Interview

Muhammad Sakhawat Hussain

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2
Critical Tasks
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Varanya Chaubey
Name
Muhammad Sakhawat Hussain
Interviewee's Position
Commissioner
Interviewee's Organization
Bangladesh Election Committee
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Bangladesh
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

Brigadier General Muhammad Sakhawat Hussain discusses the role of the Bangladesh Election Commission and its initiatives for legal, administrative and political reform. He details the Commission’s efforts to promote political party accountability. He focuses on the specifics of achieving financial transparency and more democratization within parties. He discusses the challenges faced by the Commission—particularly the skeptical attitude held by most denizens—and the ways in which they attempted to deal with them. He explains initiatives taken on by the Commission, such as the creation of a comprehensive voter list that includes photographs. He also talks about the addition of a no-vote option, which allows voters to declare that they do not wish to vote for anyone on the ballot.   

Profile

At the time of this interview Brigadier General Muhammad Sakhawat Hussain was one of three commissioners who constituted the Bangladesh Election Commission. Prior to the commission, he served in various positions in the Bangladesh Army, including both staff and command as Brigadier General. He also served as director of Sonali Bank, Bangladesh’s largest commercial bank, for two years. After retiring, he established himself as an individual researcher, writing both columns and books. His focus has been on national security and defense.

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101 MB
Full Audio Title
Muhammad Hussain Interview

Kunzang Wangdi

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Focus Area(s)
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8
Critical Tasks
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Rohan Mukherjee
Name
Kunzang Wangdi
Interviewee's Position
Chief Election Commissioner
Interviewee's Organization
Bhutan
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Bhutanese
Place (Building/Street)
Election Commission of Bhutan
Town/City
Thimphu
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract
Kunzang Wangdi explains how, in his role as chief election commissioner of Bhutan, he set up and ran the country’s first democratic elections in 2008.  Wangdi explains the process that led up to the first election, including drafting laws and operationalizing the constitution, creating and managing a voter-registration process, training election workers and educating citizens on their role in a democratic process.  He discusses working with international observers and the media, reaching voters in remote areas, using electronic voting machines and moving forward for future elections.  Wangdi touches on the issue of security during the election and also explains Bhutan’s use of a mock election in 2007 to prepare election workers and voters for the electoral process.
Profile

At the time of this interview, Kunzang Wangdi was chief election commissioner of Bhutan.  In that capacity he set up and ran Bhutan’s first democratic elections.  Prior to his appointment as commissioner in 2005, Wangdi served as auditor general of Bhutan’s Royal Audit Authority.  He was also director of the Royal Institute of Management.  Wangdi began working for Bhutan’s civil service in 1977.  He received a bachelor’s degree in English from St. Stephens College in India and completed a master’s degree in public administration at Penn State.

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74MB
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Kunzang Wangdi Interview

Petrit Gjokuta

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Focus Area(s)
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4
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Amy Mawson
Name
Petrit Gjokuta
Interviewee's Position
Director of National Registry of Voters
Interviewee's Organization
Central Electoral Commission
Nationality of Interviewee
Albanian
Place (Building/Street)
Central Electoral Commission
Town/City
Tirana
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract
Petrit Gjokuta opens his interview with a discussion of his work with the Central Election Commission in 2002. He states that the priority at the time was structural reform to the voter registration system, with the hopes of creating an electronic database. He explains the intricacies of the voter registration system at the time, which required voters to be tied to a region rather than an address. Gjokuta then discusses the legal accountability measures that surrounded Albanian elections at the time. He concludes his discussion by detailing a pilot project initiated through the Central Election Comission in 2004 to create a virtual map and registry of voters in Albania, adding that the new legal structure in 2005 greatly changed the role of the commission and the longevity of this program.
 
Profile

At the time of the interview Petrit Gjokuta was the director of the Information Technology Directory in Albania. From 2002 to 2005 he served as the director of the National Registry of Voters for the Central Election Commission. During his time with the Central Election Commission he was responsible for the reform of the voter registry.

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122 MB
Full Audio Title
Petrit Gjokuta Interview

Ransford Gyampo

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2
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Lucas Issacharoff and Daniel Scher
Name
Ransford Gyampo
Interviewee's Position
Professor of Political Science
Interviewee's Organization
University of Ghana
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Ghanaian
Place (Building/Street)
University of Ghana
Town/City
Accra
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

Ransford Gyampo discusses his research on election politics in Ghana.  The interview focuses on the changes to the campaign environment following a 2008 agreement on a code of conduct.  Van Gyampo mentions the impact of two independent institutions on the forging of a campaign agreement.  He also talks about how the enforcement of the agreement was popularly demanded and carried out after the agreement was widely distributed.  He also discusses the relevance of a strong civil service to election reform.     

Case Study:  Keeping the Peace in a Tense Election: Ghana, 2008

Profile

At the time of this interview, Ransford Gyampo was a professor of political science at the University of Ghana. He conducted extensive research into recent political trends in Ghana and especially into the 2008 election.  He also was an assistant professor at the Governance Center of the Institute of Economic Affairs in Ghana.  He earned a master’s degree in political science and specialized in human rights and government. 

Full Audio File Size
98MB
Full Audio Title
Ransford Van Gyampo Interview