The UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) suggests that the best way for nations to combat corruption is by enacting legislation for the creation of an independent body dedicated to such a task. Such bodies could enforce and promote anti-corruption policies and principles. A well-functioning oversight mechanism with a focus on anti-corruption is seen as absolutely critical for good governance in any national context. In 2012, Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) heads, practitioners and experts from around the world, came together in Jakarta to develop a persuasive set of rules and standards for ACAs. These subsequently became known as the Jakarta Principles.
Informed by these principles, Transparency International (TI) has developed an initiative which aimed at strengthening ACAs in the Asia Pacific region. The ‘Anti-Corruption Strengthening Agency Initiative’ combines biennial assessments of ACAs with sustained engagement, dialogue and advocacy, at both national and regional levels. Under this initiative, TI has developed a practical and comprehensive benchmarking tool aimed at highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of ACAs. The assessment tool was developed between 2013 and 2015 though a collaborative and comprehensive dialogue between TI, interested staff from ACAs in the Asia Pacific region and a group of experts convened by Transparency International.
Employing this tool, Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) implemented an assessment of Sri Lanka’s Anti-Corruption Agency, the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC).