You want to engage your parliament in the fight against corruption? Here are 5 steps you can take

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Last year, a competition in Moldova encouraged children to draw what corruption means to them.

According to Transparency International Corruption Perception Index (2016), Moldova is ranked 103rd (out of 168 countries worldwide) making it one of the most corrupt countries in Europe.

When we talk about corruption, we often talk about corruption at government level and the role of citizens in tackling it, but what about the role of parliamentarians?

After all, parliamentarians oversee actions of executive bodies, including how the budget is prepared and spent, whether they are in line with legal framework and how they correspond to people’s needs. Does it not make sense to also target them?

Moldova’s ranking on Transparency International Corruption Perception Index over years (1999 – 2015)

At UNDP in Moldova we have been intensively working with key institutions (the supply side) who are responsible for fighting corruption. Our goal is to increase their awareness and make them more responsive in mitigating and addressing different levels of corruption.

In 2016, with UNDP’s support, the parliament developed and approved its anti-corruption action plan. If implemented properly, the plan will make a significant impact on the fight against corruption.

But we are also working with citizens (the demand side) increase the visibility of the negative impacts corruption causes in their daily lives. Though pressure from citizens alone is not sufficient. it can make huge differences.

If we really want citizens to make an impact on the work of the parliament, we need to make sure the parliament is working in a completely transparent way – from the way parliamentarians vote on legislative initiatives to the way they spend public funds.

Here are 5 steps any active citizen can take to engage parliamentarians in tackling corruption:

  1. Get informed about the work of the parliament and parliamentarians by following the web stream of their public sessions. Request access to documents about parliamentary activities through electronic platforms.
  2. Engage with parliamentarians individually through writing letters or by visiting their constituency offices to discuss the impact of corruption in your life, particularly when breaches of behaviour are made by parliamentarians or their staff.
  3. Organize with fellow citizens into civic and pressure groups to pursue a clear agenda for greater transparency and accountability of parliamentarians.
  4. Participate in public consultations and hearings organized by standing committees of the parliament to present the opinions of marginalised groups such as women, unemployed youth, people with disabilities and minority groups.
  5. Initiate petitions that will encourage parliamentarians to promote anti-corruption legislation and oversight activities such as parliamentary questions or investigative committees.

Have tips for fighting corruption in your country? Let us know in the comments!

Blog post Moldova Governance and peacebuilding Anti-corruption

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