Lead authors: Renzo Lavin & Carolina Cornejo (ACIJ)
Contributing authors: Sruti Bandyopadhyay (World Bank)
- Module 01
- Other Relevant Stakeholders
Other Types of Horizontal Accountability Institutions
The ombudsman is an autonomous public institution whose main objective is to protect citizens’ human rights facing public administration and to exercise the control of public acts.
Anticorruption agencies are specialized bodies that often elaborate and coordinate programs against corruption, as well as exercising internal oversight over the probity of public servants.
These are institutions in charge of guaranteeing the access to public information that states hold regarding the administration’s management, the use of public funding, and the decision-making process to enable oversight by civil society, civic engagement, and public debate.
Interaction between SAIs and other oversight institutions
One of the main challenges of horizontal oversight systems is to function as a coordinated system, not as disarticulated organisms that fail to improve. The idea is to have a horizontal oversight system that is greater than the sum of its individual parts.Overlapping of duties, unresolved division of labor between institutions, and replication of efforts are some of the problems that arise when the necessary agreements to define responsibilities and roles are neglected. Creating interaction and coordination opportunities allows for articulated processes, by which the collaboration between these institutions generates a valued effect for the adequate fulfillment of their respective duties.
How can interaction between SAIs and other oversight institutions be improved to enhance public accountability?
Horizontal accountability agencies are similarly potential facilitators and promoters of social accountability tools. The interaction between these agencies and SAIs can offer the public opportunities to apply suitable oversight of appointed bodies, and making use of the necessary information to effectively carry out that social function is part of proper democratic processes.
The cooperation agreements that these institutions commit to—whether formal or informal—should clearly foresee the creation of opportunities for civic engagement and public collaboration with regard to public oversight. To achieve this, it is important to overcome the challenge of clarifying roles and fields of action, envisaging citizens’ inputs in the flow of information and in the decision-making process, as well as guaranteeing the provision of tools that empower the public to apply oversight and demand suitable accountability by public organizations.
Since 2006, the BPK (Supreme Audit Board) and the KPK (Corruption Eradication Commission) of Indonesia have been coordinating efforts in the investigation of corruption cases. They signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that includes information exchange, personnel support, expert assistance, education and training, and studies. Whereas KPK provides information to the SAI about public reports (complaints) on corruption or other information regarding investigative exercises, the SAI offers the commission information on audits or other data needed in relation to handling of a case, pre-investigation, investigation, or supervision and monitoring of cases. These institutions hold coordination meetings every three months and have committed to appoint a liaison office.