Measures For Control Of Corruption
by Frank de Silva
B. A (Cey). LLB (Col) PhD; Retired Inspector General of Police
Measures for control of bribery and corruption need serious review. The Bribery Commission and the legal measures for control of bribery, though much acclaimed, are only of limited effect. Their means touch only the fringe of the problem. The bulk of the problems thrives unaffected.
Even the limited legal means of the legal process are clogged within to deliver effective control. The low rate of conviction underlines these problems. Conviction is itself discriminatory; the small fry are netted in, the big fish escape. A serious review of the legal regime is necessary, once again, to reconsider the effectiveness of the instituted machinery for control of bribery and corruption. The given legal means are largely of a problematic nature. Their deployment too militates against effective action. Other means as administrative measures need therefore to be considered to supplement the legal regime for control of bribery.
The extent of governmental efforts to curb bribery and corruption reached its furthest in 1999. A Commission to Investigate Allegation of Bribery and Corruption (Commission) was instituted in 1999. This official arrangement was legally conceived for the purpose. The governing law was enacted accordingly in considerable measure. A long series of laws and amendments preceded this pinnacle effort. Effectiveness of the law and machinery for their execution, however, still remain, in review, a question. Bribery remains a problem in this country, long and unabated, assuming proportions of grave public concern. This is the reality. The results of such governmental action to contain this problem, the effort and expenditure incurred for an effective programme are, however, barely encouraging. There is, in fact, little impact all these have had on the problem of bribery. Reviews have therefore followed reviews to identify problems which occur. All reviews have a story to relate of much that is amiss. None of these reviews evaluates performance.
As it now stands, neither the law and the legal machinery nor the public service administration hold themselves responsible or accountable for the state of bribery and corruption.
This paper is a review limited to examine the question of the effectiveness of the legal regime instituted in this country for control of bribery and corruption. Only two lines of inquiry are focused on here, the legal and the administrative. Against the background of the current problem of bribery, the legal means for control are seriously called into question. Considerable effort and expenditure is defrayed by the government but has not made for an effective strategy. The legal machinery is of very limited impact in terms of effectiveness of controls. The simple legal conception forecloses other means. There is the prospect of administrative measures which can supplement the legal means.
These aspects are discussed under two headings, law enforcement and administrative measures. The viability of the strategy for control of bribery and corruption through law enforcement is vitiated in many respects, which are discussed below under subheadings. The legal machinery and legal process have made administrative measures for control of bribery inoperative. The possibilities from administrative means, to serve the same object alongside the legal means, merit attention.
This section deals with the different notions of law enforcement, the law and its adequacy, intelligence as an aspect of investigation, the gap between occurrence of bribery and formal communication for investigation, the limited definition of the offence of bribery and corruption, the limited idea of investigation, the scope of the problem and the end result of all action.
Law enforcement is the term to include the entirety of legal means instituted to deal with this problem, as with crime. The principal components of law enforcement are the law, investigation, prosecution and adjudication. They link to form a chain. This statement needs to be asserted categorically. In popular parlance, however, law enforcement is understood as limited to police investigation action. Many writings of a legal nature are also to this point, that law enforcement is limited to police investigation. In this tenor of legal writings, the idea is not advanced that law enforcement action by investigation can be nullified at the later stage in the process.
The oneness of the whole process for law enforcement had, therefore, to be firmly asserted, perhaps for the first time, in express terms, by Chua Cher Yak the Consultant 2006. He asserts unreservedly, that “the ‘holy trinity’ covering investigation, prosecution and adjudication, encompassing the entire criminal justice system is a continuous process. This is the critical feature in the law. “The investigative agency is just not an island unto itself” noted the Consultant. He firmly asserts that a sound court administration or sound judicial system is vital. Such ample view of law enforcement, figures rarely in other legal writings.
Legal writings within this country do not contend with this fact of composite law enforcement. One such instance of local writing is cited to illustrate the failure of such composite view of the problem of law enforcement. A research on the subject of ‘Police Corruption’, identifying causes for police corruption, titled ‘In pursuit of Absolute Integrity’ published by Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) is cited here in illustration. Weliamuna, Executive Director of TISL, refers here to ‘law enforcement’ in discussing police corruption. There was no attempt in this essay to define law enforcement. Instead, references are made to ‘police corruption’, ‘misuse of authority’, ‘lack of law enforcement’ ‘lawlessness’, one leading to the other. This equation for breakdown of law and order relates only to the police; lawlessness is failure of police in law enforcement. There is no idea here of the prosecution and court adjudication in failure of law enforcement leading to lawlessness, by failure of enforcement.
A composite view of law enforcement would indeed have been detrimental to the limited purpose of the TISL survey. This survey was only to project police corruption from failure of enforcement with no reference to other attendant circumstances. Failure of court adjudication was avoided, perhaps discreetly, since the author is a lawyer himself regularly appearing in court. Other such references would blunt the edge of the survey which was only to project police corruption. It is a moot point whether such writing was in pursuit of absolute integrity as the author’s title suggests. Another perspective was from the point of view of ‘rights’ where the onus was cast on the legislature and the executive; the judiciary is disconnected from the total process. Just one more connected reference from one unconnected with the law and judicial system is cited. JB Muller states: “…should start the cleaning up process with Health, Education, the Judicial system” (emphasis added).
The difference in the two approaches to the matter of law enforcement is clear. The reasons for the difference of perspective and emphasis are equally self-evident. Disjunction of the total criminal process is the result. Discontinuity of process is therefore fraught with problems, one stage not supporting the other. Effectiveness falls in between. The instituted process is then dysfunctional, yielding results other than that which the law intended. Law enforcement at the police stage of action can be rendered negative by failure at later stages. Prosecution can falter at adjudication. Each stage of action will be discussed in turn, to consider their effectiveness.
The bribery law has an ample base for effective control of bribery. The law has been examined exhaustively by many who assert to its adequacy. The report of a UNDP funded survey concludes, “All in all, the laws are more than adequate. If I can rate the ‘enforceability quotient’ of the laws (i.e. whether the laws are enforcer-friendly or not), I will readily give 9 points out of a possible 10 points. But, it must be reiterated that all laws are only as good as they are enforced”. Some weaknesses of the law are identified but they are dwarfed by the strengths, the report observes.
An example is that the law relating to corruption provides for instances of corruption through a list, as at section 70 of the Bribery Act. Listing offences in a legalistic form closes the possibility of other forms of corruption which may transpire later. The Report of Consultant Chua Cher Yak recommends, instead, an open- ended base to determine corruption. The law is yet more than adequate. A National Consultant previously stated: The Act “empowers the Commission with vast and sweeping powers for the purpose of discharging its functions”. The legal base of the law is then firm. But, it must be reiterated that all laws are only a good as they are enforced, noted Consultant Chua Cher Yak, vide above.
Enforcement, thereafter, is then the matter of concern for effectiveness of the law. Assessing the effectiveness of the law, a caveat is added by the Consultant, that having laws is one thing. Stringently enforcing them is another. Without enforcement, meaning effective law enforcement, such laws, no matter how well crafted, will remain as ‘dead-letters’. Failure of law enforcement in court is specifically adverted to in the UNDP report of 2006 as the need to ‘reducing the Judiciary’s vulnerability to mismanagement of cases’. Mismanagement of cases defeats the purpose of the law. Mismanagement of cases in courts takes many forms. There is no proper survey of the nature of mismanagement of cases in courts in these reviews. Only a few can be cited. A few instances can illustrate the manner in which the process goes astray. ‘Almost all those convicted were low-ranking public officers’ said the Lawyers for Human Rights and Development, ‘Bribery and Corruption in Sri Lanka: A study on Law and Enforcement’ (November 2005) p 37. Persons of some eminence generally escaped conviction. The discriminatory effect of the adjudication within the law is very much the popular perception. Annual Administration Reports of the Bribery Commission carry an annex which lists the names and office of persons convicted, but carries no parallel list giving designations of persons acquitted. This reinforces the perception of mismanagement of cases in courts. Delay and postponement of cases, the low rate of convictions entered, the high rate of acquittals, and the tenuous nature of some grounds for acquittal are some other means of mismanagement of cases.
There are at the same time structural problems and systemic problems which defeat the due course of the law. Problems of due court administration have been discussed more fully elsewhere. The analysis dealt with problems of a structural and systemic nature for due adjudication of justice in crimes and offences in general. The agencies were hardly linked in a common endeavour or objective. Their result is termed ‘Judiciary’s vulnerability to mismanagement of cases’. The same problems affect administration of justice in bribery cases too, with an additional link brought in by way of the Commission and its legal officers. The change of hands for prosecution in bribery cases from one agency to another was symptomatic of the tension within the whole instituted process. Even within the Commission there was want of coordination between the investigation and legal review. These problems have a deleterious effect ultimately on the administration of justice and the programme for control of bribery and corruption. Taken together these problems are termed mismanagement of cases in courts.
The problem for effectiveness of the law to control bribery has another dimension. These stem not so much in the substantive law but in relation to the process involved in the abuse of power and position for bribery and corruption. Abuse of process and position in the public office by the offending bribe-taker is the critical means by which the crime is committed. This is unlike with the case of conventional crime. Others are invariably involved in the commission of the offence of bribery. Others who helped the offender would, however, be legally liable only to the extent their participation is in the nature of aiding, abetment or agreement in conspiracy. This would be in line with the general principles of criminal liability. But the abuse of process for bribery and corruption in the public service involves a myriad ways, than legally formulated, ways in which the offence is facilitated. Criminal liability does not extend to these. Short of criminal liability of others in the process of bribery and corruption, there is an administrative liability of those others in the public office who allowed for the commission of the offence. The difference between criminal liability and administrative liability here are clearly differentiated, in the main. There is, however, an area in between which fuddles the distinction. The different processes entailed, meshes with each other almost imperceptibly in their determination. For purpose of criminal law, such unclear distinction is of no avail.
Of necessity, the criminal liability is enacted in a legalistic frame appropriate to criminal law. But for the larger phenomenon of bribery and corruption, the administrative aspects are important. The administrative circumstances which gave space for the offence of bribery are, in the main, ignored because they do not lend themselves easily to legal formulation. The suggestion here is that abuse of process which constitutes corruption has an inbuilt procedural aspect.
In effect there is an overlap here of the substantive law in corruption with the procedural law inherent in the process for abuse. Effectiveness of the law for control of bribery can be enhanced by resolution of the two seemingly disparate thrusts of the two aspects of criminal liability and administrative liability. This matter is discussed further, presently.
Measures For Control Of Corruption -Part Two
Procedure of intelligence should be essentially confidential
Within the frame of the ample law for law enforcement, intelligence figures little. For all the law and legal initiatives to control bribery, adopted over the years, the function of intelligence for effective action has not been duly conceived. The 1994 law specifies plainly that action under the Act by way of investigation can commence only on a communication, of a formal nature. The response to the communication is then only of a passive reactive nature commencing investigation. The procedure is clear cut. There is then no idea of a proactive disposition of the instituted machinery for control of bribery, apart from the formal communication.
This is a serious shortcoming in the strategy to combat bribery and corruption, indeed against any criminality. The reason why the bribery law has been differently enacted is not clear. It is possible to speculate that the draft of bribery law is in the nature of ‘lawyers’ law’, an epithet used to denote a narrow approach in formulating law. The insinuation is that the law is framed just by law professionals. By definition this term excludes the public point of view. The UN Convention against Corruption clearly alludes to this point. At Article 13 on ‘Participation of Society’, section 2 specifies that each State Party shall take appropriate measures….for the ‘reporting, including anonymously [emphasis added], of any incidents that may be considered to constitute an offence….’ The local law and the terms of the UN Convention do not thus coincide sufficiently. This merits consideration in any review of the law for control of bribery in this country.
The law requiring formal communication to commence action was intended perhaps to prevent frivolous and vexatious action to be initiated. This stance of the law fails to take account two matters. The procedure of intelligence is essentially confidential, and is not in the public domain. Secondly, the product of such intelligence gathering is to be reviewed by the Bribery Commission before any further formal investigation is launched. The same procedure holds with formal communication received, that their validity is determined by the Commission as an initial step. The whole body of the criminal law incorporates the functions of intelligence and investigation in the one process. The inherent function of intelligence in investigation, the close relation of the two, the provision of rules of procedure and evidence to govern their reception, clearly make out this underlying inclusive principle in criminal law. The cast of the bribery law in another frame than the conventional is therefore not clear. The Consultant Chua Cher Yak makes out that this manner of proactive action is vital to the success of the Commission. From a legal or theoretical, even logical, standpoint, the regular process is thereby stunted. Their effect is one of despair.
A communication to the Bribery Commission to initiate investigation is perhaps desirable from many points of view. Since, however, bribery flows from a consensual exchange, a large proportion of these offences is unreported. The law, as it is, allows the space for such desultory end to the problem. This does not make for effectiveness of the law. With the offence of corruption the position is much less of prospect. The victim here is also the public service, which has suffered in the main. The government though aggrieved needs to make a ‘formal’ communication to the Commission to initiate action. This is an unrealistic prospect; the matter is nearly one of an impersonal nature. A person who has suffered similarly can make complaint by way of a communication, if he is aggrieved. There may be a rare instance of persons of eminence taking on the mantle of ‘whistle blower’.
From a practical angle, the prospect of effectiveness is additionally ominous. The reviews of the law and system for control of bribery and corruption do not refer to these aspects of the problem, which affect effective strategy for control of bribery. The reference here is to an ominous cloud that hovers over the official threshold which requires a formal communication to initiate action. Threat, intimidation, coercion and other deterrence play in the gap between the incident of bribery and its report to the authorities. There is invariably no firm record of such insidious influences to deter formal complaints, which might have been represented to the Consultant in reviews. Bribe-takers are, however, well aware of this weak link in the chain and are quick to exploit it. Those who exploit this opportunity thus are persons who can exert themselves to effectively deter complaint. Intimidators would be more cautious if they knew that intelligence could yet bring them to account. The bribe -giving victim is thus double victimized, by the miscreant and by the system. This assertion is made from personal experience and knowledge.
The significance of this observation can be appreciated the better by considering the difference in the two situations, in the reporting to the authorities of a normal crime and in making a formal communication of an incident of bribery. There is little let or hindrance in reporting a crime to authorities, by some person who had information of the matter. The requirement of a formal communication to be made in respect of bribery makes for an additional threshold to be crossed before the matter is brought before the authority. There is much trepidation that besets the complainant in the latter case than with the complainant in conventional crime. The criminal fears his crime will be revealed by intelligence even without formal complaint. The offender in a bribery case fears less.
Investigators in bribery cases are invariably police officers. Police officers are statutorily constituted to deal with matters through intelligence and investigation, the two going hand- in- hand as the logic of the required process. Police officers dealing with bribery have therefore their essential function emasculated; reducing the process of investigation to merely recording a sequence of statements. Action in bribery cases, in these terms, can well be done by any other departmental officers, postal or railway, appointed as authorized officers. Possibly the law for bribery, as it is, required the exercise of some powers of the police only, not all the powers by which the police officer is statutorily instituted. The law did not perhaps intend these restrictive consequences, not from the law itself but from the manner the legal provisions are applied.
The gap in the line of action between formal communication and intelligence is best illustrated through actual examples of bribe- taking. The manner in which the requirement of formal communication to commence bribery investigations is applied and the occlusion of intelligence as a result has been discussed above in general terms. Illustrations will serve to demonstrate this situation in real practical terms. The instances of corruption by police cited in a survey of the impact of corruption on poverty and economic growth will help to draw on these observations. The examples are reflected below verbatim:
a. A person taken into custody at Nochchiagama police station was released without framing charges after accepting a bribe of Rs 10,000/=. A person who was engaged in selling illicit liquor at Viharagala had to pay Rs 5,000/= to the relevant police officer in the area on a regular basis.
b. A person who had taken his tractor to the adjoining village had been charged for an invalid licence and had to pay Rs 2,500/= to get the tractor released from the police station.
c. Any person who wishes to lodge a complaint generally has to pay Rs 200/= to Rs 500/= depending on the nature of the complaint to the officer in charge of the police station. A family at Lindaweva admitted that it had to pay this type of payment to the Officer –in- Charge at the Nochiyagama police station on several occasions.
d. Most of the police officers take bribes for any inquiries irrespective of the nature of the crime. At Viharagala, a person charged with robbery had been released without an inquiry after obtaining a bribe of Rs. 5000/=.
e. Generally, the Traffic Department of the Police is notorious for obtaining bribes for traffic offences. This was prominent in the evidence at all four villages.
The above instances of bribery listed in the survey have a specific purpose, to reflect on their economic impact. Incidentally, the general picture of the problem of bribery is also fairly depicted. The TISL survey has the avowed purpose of projecting police corruption. The particular agenda of this latter survey is less clear. However, these surveys do not go beyond their immediate purpose, to analyze the reasons which allow for the incidence of the problem in this manner and for absence of checks to restrain offences.
Certain questions pose themselves, through their narration, as they are not covered in the survey. The first most glaring feature which strikes is that in none of these instances has a formal communication been made to the Bribery Commission directly. The reasons for such failure in terms of the law have not been pursued in the investigating survey. These surveys have in fact relied on intelligence to obtain the information data. These illustrations serve therefore to make clear the need for intelligence in addition to the formal communication if effective action is the objective of the law. The gap in the legal process to control bribery is then self- evident. An additional question might have been posed by the survey, whether complaints were lodged with the local police authorities in these instances for their action. Had the survey concerned itself with that question, the role of the police authorities in such situation might have transpired, to advance the inquiry. There is also the question of the administrative capacity of the police higher authorities to deal with such complaints had representation been made. That aspect will be dealt with presently. At this point, the position is made clear that the bribery law is out of sync with the ground reality.
The Bribery Commission might have been able to cure this infirmity, by bringing intelligence into the process with the safeguard that any product of intelligence confidentially received will be acted upon if that were to lead to a formal communication. The problem is, however, that a simple legalistic view of the law prevailed, that saw intelligence out of the pale of the law. A preponderance of judges appointed to the Commission may perhaps account for this interpretation. A suggestion, only somewhat to this effect, is referred to in the report of the Consultant. The problem is perhaps that the sole dedicated purpose of the Commission is to ‘investigate’ allegations of bribery, not a matter of sitting in judgment as judges would do. Other problems can stem from the same legalistic root.
Definition of the offences of bribery and corruption for effectiveness is problematic and thus needs some review. Definition requires some comment, comments from the point of view of law enforcement and effectiveness of the legal regime for control of bribery. Definition of the problem of bribery in Sri Lanka reflects the legal standpoint from which the several legal initiatives have been adopted. This development has been over considerable time. The original definition of the offence was as a crime in the penal code. And in the case of elected officials the offences of bribery had to be dealt with under Commissions of Inquiry. These were followed in 1954 with the extended definitions in the new Bribery Act. Significantly, the other manifestations of the problem from bribery as corruption and as abuse of power were brought within the scope of the definition in the legislative amendments of 1994.
The latest definition brought in the offences of corruption and the abuse of power alongside the offences of bribery. An element of gratification is necessary to establish the offence of bribery, while wrongful loss, if not gain, is a necessary ingredient with the offence of corruption. It is significant that bribery and corruption have yet been brought together in parallel enactment, being in fact germane to each other. They are all offences committed by public servants in breach of the trust reposed in them by virtue of their office, and their actions are not simply matters of individual responsibility.
Measures For Control Of Corruption -Part Three
The legal definition of bribery in terms of criminal liability is necessary
In a legalistic frame of concept, focusing on an individual offender and accomplice is inevitable. The critical feature in such enunciation of the law for bribery and corruption is that the legalistic mode does not take full account the whole realm of the public service; the offence is not simply matter between the offender and victim. The public service is at once the perpetrator of the crime and the victim of the offence. The complainant is not the only victim. At the same time the bribe-taker-public servant is not the only perpetrator of the crime. Others too are involved, not necessarily as accomplices in the legalistic manner of speaking. Others in the system have to be compromised to make space for the offender. This extended aspect does not lend itself adequately to the simple application of conventional principles of criminal law administration. The law, as enacted through all the revision and amendment, deals with the public officer as the perpetrator of the offence and the outsider as the victim. From that legal standpoint there is little scope in the law for an idea of the public service as the victim, except inferentially. Any such advertence, if ever, in the review surveys is only incidental. Law enforcement projected thus does not take in the full import of the offences and their consequences for the public service. Definition of the offence of bribery and corruption directed only at the offender is therefore limited and can deter effectiveness.
The legal definition of bribery and corruption is couched in terms for criminal liability. This is necessary. It is idle however to proceed with the legal strategy as the only means for control of bribery. Thus the scope of the problem is extended to larger issues as good governance. Such extended scope engages the concern of relevant authorities, even internationally. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) conception of the problem is to this effect. In most countries corruption is a criminal offence. “But the real crime is that everybody suffers, especially the poor and the vulnerable.. . “xviii. The same report observes, ‘corruption damages economies and the environment, and can even reverse development. In extreme cases law and order can fall apart…and crime, violence and social unrest can follow’xix. The UNDP sees corruption as a problem of poor governance. The Consultant’s Report firmly asserts this larger scope of the problem of bribery for good Governancexx. Viewed in this perspective it is clear that the strategy of criminalizing corruption for its control limited to the offender would not be adequate. The offence of bribery, despite other involvement of attendant persons around the offender in the public service, is limited to the legal processing between the victim and the offender. When even that legal processing fails through a low rate of conviction, the system is in some state of collapse.
The problem of bribery and corruption is larger than conventional crime. The above observations highlight the difference. The approach of the law then needs to be wider. Law and its enforcement as conventional concepts do not bring out this difference. Law enforcement, as it is understood, is then plainly inadequate. Taking in the larger picture presents the problem in another light, that the legalistic mind set applied in this context can be pitifully limited of concept. It is sufficient to refer to one review article of this programme on corruption. That article took in the larger picture of bribery and corruption relating to good governance itself. The article concluded: “Corruption is multi-dimensional and the mandate for the Bribery Commission must necessarily be widened beyond its present boundaries: both as to definition and procedure, they are pathetic”xxi. The significance of this review article, unlike other reviews, is not stymied of concept through legalistic approach. The perspective of the writer is much wider and is not confined to the legal frame. The wider public perception is more realistic. The state response through all these legal measures adopted over time to time are even myopic in the face of the problem at hand. It is inevitable then that official action is only of a nominal nature.
Another perspective of bribery and corruption relating to rights has been advancedxxii. Bribery and corruption in whatever way conceived “results in the rights of the People being denied or impaired….People of Sri Lanka enjoy a fundamental right…free of any form of corruption, whether defined widely or narrowly”xxiii. This view is indeed a perceptive projection of the problem, since the matters of rights underline all the other problems from corruption, referred to above. The individual transacting with the governmental agencies is exercising his right. The manner in which the individual person is treated by the agency can be either a denial of impairment of his right. Correspondingly, the function of the government agency is to secure and advance rights of the people. The other perspectives of corruption as economic, good governance, public service etc. taken together, are, in effect, issues of rights of the people. The practical significance of this is that rights can be denied or impaired by the legislature, the executive and by the judiciary. Mismanagement of cases in courts can amount to denial or impairment of rights. The wronged person in bribery and corruption cases is a victim initially by the respective agency, and subsequently by the system for administration of justice or courts, in a form of double jeopardy. The link is broken. It is significant that the onus to secure rights is cast only on the “Legislature and the Executive”xxiv and not on the Judiciary. The ‘holy trinity’ is disjoined in the process. Law enforcement fails in the process.
Even within the narrow conception of law enforcement the system still does not give. Collapse of the system is partly due to the passive view of the legal machinery and process instituted for the purpose of control of bribery. Adjudication problems are seen as inevitable. Another view sees this as an aspect termed ‘capture’. There are two forms of capture, ‘state capture’ where the corrupt influence is exerted from outside the state apparatus and the other a form of administrative capture from corrupt exploitation of the institutional and legal weaknessesxxv. These ideas are borrowed from the references below. The functions of the organs in the legal process through prosecution and adjudication are ‘seized’ and do not operate rigourously towards the required end. The low rate of conviction is the result. ‘Laws delays’ facilitate acquittals and engender low rate of conviction. Delays in the legal process are either systemic or structural. Either way the ‘holy trinity’ of investigation, prosecution and adjudication comes unbound to lead towards a desultory end. Expeditious disposal of cases considerably reduces risk of malfunction. Delays on the other hand bear heavily on the evidence of witnesses leading to variation of evidence, marked contradictions, which serve to impeach the credibility of witnesses. Such is a general profile of such proceedings. Acquittals in bribery cases in many cases are determined on ‘flimsy’ grounds of minor and inessential variations in the evidence of witnesses. There is another fact of experience that the laws delays are manipulated precisely to secure this effect. Persons of eminence avail themselves of this more than minor officials could. Larger objectives of good governance and interests of society recede from the general reckoning. The administration of criminal justice is generally afflicted by these weaknesses, in respect of conventional crime as with bribery and corruption. Mismanagement of cases in court and the judicial process has the marks of ‘capture’of the system.
Investigation is fundamental to the whole process of law enforcement. Investigation prepares the material which then will be confronted by much of the problems discussed above. Some reservations are however expressed over bribery investigations particularly as the investigations are conducted by the Police. These criticisms are only of a general nature. The effectiveness of investigation can be gauged by the conviction rate of bribery cases. This is a clear index. The conviction rate ranges between 3% and 10%. There is no reliable data in the Administration Reports to ascertain the rate of conviction in the relevant cases indicted in courts. The spill over at the end of each year is not reflected continually. Therefore these figures were obtained through personal communication. Allowing though for a margin of error, the statistics reflect an appalling inadequacy in the total law enforcement programme instituted with much effort and expense. The problem is not necessarily with investigation, commonly alleged in other areas. The investigative procedure is directed through a Bribery Commission of competent persons, assisted by many lawyers. They ensure the standard of investigation.
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