The Potential for ICT Tools to Promote Public Participation in Fighting Corruption

The Potential for ICT Tools to Promote Public Participation in Fighting Corruption

Arjun Neupane (University of Southern Queensland, Australia), Jeffrey Soar (University of Southern Queensland, Australia), Kishor Vaidya (University of Southern Queensland, Australia & University of Canberra, Australia) and Sunil Aryal (Monash University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8358-7.ch119
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Abstract

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have been seen as pioneering tools for the promotion of the better delivery of government programmes and services, enabling the empowerment of citizens through greater access to information, delivery of more efficient government management processes, better transparency and accountability, and the mitigation of corruption risks. Based on a literature survey of previous research conducted on ICT systems implemented in various countries, this chapter discusses the potential of different ICT tools that have the capacity to help to promote public participation for the purpose of reducing corruption. The chapter specifically reviews the different ICT tools and platforms and their roles as potential weapons in fighting corruption. This chapter also evaluates different ICT tools, including e-government and public e-procurement. Finally, the authors develop a theoretical research model that depicts the anti-corruption capabilities of ICT tools, which in turn, has implications for academics, policy makers, and politicians.
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Introduction

Previous scholars have identified that Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have the potential to reform government public services by delivering better quality of public service by eliminating some cost and time delay (Asgarkhani, 2005; Gupta,Dasgupta & Gupta, 2008; Sharma et al., 2011), by empowering citizens (Bertot,Jaeger & Grimes, 2010; Gupta et al., 2008), by increasing transparency and accountability in government works and services (Bertot et al., 2010; McCue & Roman, 2012; Sang,Lee & Lee, 2009), and by mitigating the risk of corruption (Mahmood, 2004; Neupane,Soar & Vaidya, 2012a; Sturges, 2004). In addition, ICT has been seen as one of the major drivers for socio-economic development of most countries (Braund et al., 2007) and most importantly it is crucial for sustainable development in developing countries (Credé,Mansell & Mansell, 1998). Ultimately, it can be argued that ICT is one of the pioneering tools available to reform the government work and services and to improve public sector programme delivery (Singh et al., 2010), to enhance public productivity (Yang & Rho, 2007), to support good governance (Basu, 2004), to promote transparency and anti-corruption (Bertot et al., 2010), to reduce corruption and poverty (Bhatnagar, 2003a), to develop social capital (Shim & Eom, 2009) and many more other benefits.

Corruption is a serious problem for developing countries that hinders their progress. It is commonly defined as a misuse of public office for private gain (Rose-Ackerman, 1999; Transparency International, 2006; World Bank, 2000). Lio, Liu and OU (2011) in their research pointed out that corruption can hinder the development of the country by weakening national institutions, increasing government business costs, eroding trust, and discouraging inbound international investment. Corruption is one of the main challenges in government (Shahkooh et al., 2008). Leading international organisations such as the United Nations (UN), Transparency International (TI), World Bank (WB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have identified that corruption is a critical issue for developing countries. ICT and electronic government applications are considered as a potential tool to reduce corruption in terms of its incidence and impact. Table 1 demonstrates the three main important concepts and their characteristics of ICT tools i.e. provision, enhancement, and prevention (Abdullah & Stiawan, 2011).

Table 1.
Three important concepts of ICT and their characteristics
Information Communication and Technology (ICT) Tools
ProvisionEnhancementPrevention
Value-added quality service deliveryEarly warning to behavioural corruptionEffectiveness of internal
control systems
Public participation in policy decision makingReduce citizens’ direct interactionsManagerial control and collaboration
Information government decision and actionsIdentify elected officials and civil servantsIncreases transparency and accountability
Opening government processesDetection of corruptionImprove audits and analysis
Disclosing of assets and investment civilMotive / behaviour that deviant with automation of processesMonitoring and participating
One stop integrated data with applicationTrust between government and citizensEmpowerment and services
Government service available to citizens 24/7 serviceSecurity of transactionReduces the cartel, collusions, riggings

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