Assessing the Effectiveness of Ethics Liaison Units in Combating Corruption: The Case of Hadiya Zone, SNNPRS, Ethiopia
Dr. Minhaj Alam (PhD), Daniel Handino Onsamo
Corruption is an important aspect of bad governance and is often defined as the abuse of public office for private gain. As measuring corruption whether it is increasing or decreasing is sometimes difficult, it is better to measure the institutional system of anti-corruption agencies in accordance to their effectiveness in combating corruption. Accordingly, the purpose of this research was to assess the effectiveness of Ethics Liaison Units (ELUs) in combating corruption at lower level of decentralization of Regional Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission with especial reference to Hadiya Zone, SNNPRS, Ethiopia. Hence, it examined the extent to which the targets of Ethics Liaison Units were being met in the study area by identifying their main establishment objectives as well as by exploring challenges which hinder and their prospects which promote the achievement of ELUs in the study area. This research is basically a qualitative laden research with explanatory nature of data but to make it more representative and sound, researchers applied descriptive survey design which was based on a mixed approach and hence both qualitative and quantitative approaches were employed. The source of information was both primary and secondary data. Primary data was gathered and analyzed from 110 civil servants, 74 whistleblowers (general public), 5 ELUs officers, 5 political leaders and 16 (2 FGDs, each comprised of 8 members from civil society representatives) while secondary data was gathered from published and unpublished materials such as annual performance reports, Proclamations, Regulations, guidelines, magazines and journals. The findings of the research revealed that the outreach of the awareness program by Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission was steadily increasing from year to year in the study area. But with regard to take both disciplinary and criminal sanctions against the corrupters by concerned bodies were found very weak. Too much dependency, lack of sufficient resources both human and materials, absence of practical political leaders’ commitment, lack of trust and confidence of people were observed as major challenges which hinder the realization of objectives of ELUs in the study area while higher salaries paid to ethics officers compared to other government employees, pre-job training and commitments and collaborations of a few committed employees were found as prospects. Based on the findings, the major recommendation is to strengthen the sanction mechanism in addition to give more independent charge to ELUs to investigate and to sanction the corrupters in the study area. Besides, as per the population size of Hadiya Zone, expansion of awareness program of ethics and anti-corruption education will make the campaign more effective alongside the rearrangement of institutional structure of Ethics Liaison Units.
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