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Corruption and Governance –

what role can communications

Dr Randal G Stewart
Timmins Stewart Pty Ltd
What is corruption?
Three elements present when an
individual engages in corrupt conduct
 The individual needs to have the motivation to act –
based on their individual traits, or the way that they
have adapted to the organisational culture
 The organisation needs to have the systems (or gaps
in the systems, policies and procedures, education
and resources for staff) which create opportunities for
the act of corruption to occur
 There is a low threat (perceived and/or actual) of
Change management and
corruption prevention
 In order to properly implement a comprehensive
corruption prevention program it may be necessary to
address culture, policy and the issues and perhaps
institute cultural and organisational change of some
kind. There are some acknowledged theoretical and
practical frameworks for analysing and formulating
policy and for managing issues in a way that will affect
the successful implementation of managed change.
Corruption Resistance

The resistance framework indicates that individual

measures tend to be more effective when:
- they are consistent with established values
- senior leaders support the values
- senior leaders lead by example
- other mechanisms encourage their use (for example,
an internal reporting system is accompanied by
awareness programs for all staff, training for its
administrators and possibly by designating officers
who can provide assistance to would-be reporters)
What is Governance?
Governance – What Does It Mean?
 "By Governance, we mean the processes and institutions,
both formal and informal, that guide and restrain the
collective activities of a group. Government is the subset
that acts with authority and creates formal obligations.
Governance need not necessarily be conducted
exclusively by governments and the (international)
organizations to which they delegate authority. Private
firms, associations of firms, nongovernmental
organizations (NGOs), and associations of NGOs all
engage in it, often in association with governmental
bodies, to create governance; sometimes without
governmental authority."
(Joseph S. Nye. & John D. Donahue Governance in a
Globalizing World. 2000)
What is Government Policy?
What is Policy?

 Policy as a decision about a course of action designed

to achieve stated outcomes or with specific objectives
 Policy as a series of decisions over time towards the
attainment of a goal or objective which initially can be
discerned but not defined with clarity
 Policy as an interactive, continuing process of
experimentation and learning
What is Policy?


 Policy as a complex bundle of problems, plans, ideas,

interests, opportunities, threats, challenges and
constraints which need to be processed, managed and
translated into a response to meet the political needs of
the government of the day, and the medium term interests
of the community.
The Nature of Policy Work
Policy work is an ongoing activity encompassing
monitoring, research, information gathering, analysis,
consultation and advice. Policy work requires:

An appreciation of the government’s priorities and

An understanding of the elements of the public
Knowledge of the issues;
The Nature of Policy Work

 A good understanding of the way government operates

 An awareness of the interests of stakeholders;
 A capacity to manage, analyse, communicate and
 Skill in the presentation of information and
recommendations to facilitate fully informed decisions
by those responsible for decision making
Outcomes and Outputs
Policy Advice Function

 Policy advice is an important (and costly) output and is

identified and costed in each agency’s Portfolio Budget

 Policy advice (along with other functions) is being

‘market tested’ and benchmarked across the APS

 Contestability and other sources of advice.

Policy Advice
 Not just an output as advice is directed at
influencing and contributing to policy outcomes as
well as specifying the methods and resources required
to achieve those outcomes
 Involves professional judgement about both the
underlying situation, the considerations to be taken into
account, how they should be balanced and the
appropriate policy response.
 Ensure that decision making is as fully informed as
“Policy makers are not faced with
a given problem. Instead they
have to identify and formulate
their problem.”
(Charles Lindblom)
Outcomes & Outputs
Outcomes are the results, impacts and consequences of actions
by the Commonwealth on the Australian Community:
 Planned outcomes are the results or impacts that
Government wants to achieve for the Australian community
 Outcomes give public service a unique purpose
 Actual outcomes are the results or impacts which are, in
fact achieve.
 External factors can intervene either positively or
negatively on the achievement of outcomes
 Agencies deliver outputs or a combination of outputs and
administered items to contribute to planned outcomes.
Outcomes & Outputs
Outputs are the goods and services produced by agencies on
behalf of Government for organisations or individuals.

Agencies deliver outputs to contribute to planned


Agencies also administer items - on behalf of

Government - which contribute to outcomes

These ‘administered items’ may be used by third

parties, rather than agencies, to produce outputs
Outcomes & Outputs Framework

Outcome Outcome(s)

Feedback IMPACT
for Design Indicators

Output Agency Administered

Indicators Output(s) Item(s)
Outcomes & Outputs

 Outcomes are thus the prime focus for policy, and

appropriate linkages between these elements of the
policy process need to be established. Rather than
linear, compartmentalised series of steps, the policy
process is in most instances an ongoing process.
Although the Policy Lifecycle chart is overly
simplistic, it captures the essentially dynamic nature of
the policy process.
(see “Mapping Policy” for the lifecycle)
Steps in the Policy Process

Problem identification
Policy formulation
Adoption/decision making
Implementation evaluation
Mapping Policy
What’s the context?

What issues/links What’s this about?

need consideration What do we need to do?


Who else in my Do we have prime

division/department carriage?
needs to be involved?

What information
data needs
interdepartmental Is a whole of
communication/ government response
issues need required?


What other agencies

Who needs to decide? or non-government groups
(Minister? Cabinet?) have an interest?
If legislation is involved what issues How does this fit with the
arise in thinking about getting this government’s views/
through Parliament preferences/ commitments?

What does the Minister

How can the policy case want/think?
be presented effectively
to the Public and other
audiences? Does this impact on other Ministers.
Are they likely to be supportive or

What are the timing issues?

What are the pitfalls?

What outcomes are Does this address the

we seeking? real problem(s)?

Will this be seen to be What’s the experience

an appropriate response? here and overseas?

What needs to be done Who are the stakeholders?

To turn policy intentions Who wins/loses? How do we manage?
Into action?
Australia and the Solomon Islands

 Is the policy problem clearly defined?

 What are the ‘policy’ objectives?
 Are they ‘outcome’ focused?
 Is there alignment with ADF actions?
 What stakeholders have been
consulted? How?
 What are the performance measures?
Credibility of RAMSI on line
“ The RAMSI contingent had, it was widely thought,
made good headway in rooting out the worst of
corruption, but its lack of real progress on the political
front has been cruelly exposed. First, there was the
election last month of Snyder Rini by his parliamentary
colleagues as prime minister (despite accusations he
used Taiwan money to buy support) and the
subsequent riots the appointment provoked in the
capital, Honiara”

The Canberra Times (Editorial) May 9, 2006 p.10

Who is involved?
 TYRANTS – state-based/insurgents
 LIBERATIONISTS – those competing for
state power
 WESTERN POWERS – diplomats and
 HUMANITARIANS – public and private
 PEOPLE – men, women and children
What role can communications
 Public Affairs is the function within
organisations responsible for issues
management. Public Affairs is moving
from an adolescent to a more mature,
more professional function.
 Issues management is an attempt to manage the
 Issues: shape the future because issues create a gap
between what an organisation or government is doing
(its action/ inaction) and what the expectations of
others (stakeholders and other publics) are about what
the organisation or government is doing.
 Issues Management: is about managing the future by
shaping what the future should be. It is a systematic
process of identifying and evaluating issues then
energising management toward integrating this
knowledge into the organisations strategic
management system so as to resolve the issues.
Principle/ Agency Theory

 Actors Defined not as individuals or collectives but as agents. Corporate political

activity proceeds through the creation and use of agents in and around
democratic processes to achieve certain ends.
 The Key The key dynamic is the concept of political contestability. Different levels
- firms and systems. Contest is a term implying fair outcomes based on
competition and co-operation. It is in everyone’s interest to play on a contestable
 Mobilisation In a contestable field the choice of agents is broad. The key is to
know how strike strategic alliances with suitable effective agents
 Structure Not relevant. Centralisation vs. decentralisation is not an issue.
 Requirements of Success In a contestable field entry is crucial. If the field is no
contestable and entry not possible the initial task is structural change to make the
field more democratic.

Principal/ Agency gives us a strategic framework we can use to manage an issue.

It is a different way of thinking, not in a routine manner as a public servant does
but in a creative, contestable manner.
(Source: Mitnick 1993)
In a contestable field, a principal has ‘friends’ or allies and enemies or opponents.
Public Choice

 Actors. are of two types :Market and non market. Market actors are
buyers and seller. Non-market actors are regulators, legislators etc
 The Key. There are two key dynamics for the different systems, both are
based on rights. In the market these rights are property rights. In the
none market there are “granted” rights and “claimed” rights.
 Mobilisation. Usually based on competition between individuals in
markets systems. However individuals actions can be detrimental in
 Structure. It depends. Usually decentralised in markets. Frequently
centralised in non markets (“granted rights” favour centralisation of non-
 Requirements of Success. To know which dynamics is relevant to
which issue. But also, to remember that the different dynamics influence
each other.
Managing the Media
Managing the Media

Media and Policy Development

 Media is an important player

 Media and government are in a symbiotic
 Agencies can use the media proactively to push
agendas, promote issues, test ideas etc.
 Agencies must also react to media
 Media can’t be ignored
 Public Affairs staff understand media - you
understand policy issues - must work together
Relationships With the Media
Agencies should:

 build relationships with subject specialists - health

reporters, social affairs commentators
 provide facts sheets with simple and essential up to
date facts
 offer exclusive stories
 consider media ‘attitudes’ early in policy process -
consult public affairs staff
Do’s of Dealing with the Media
 Be clear if it is ‘off the record’ or providing
‘background briefing - not for quoting’
 Understand the media’s deadlines - press releases
issued at 4pm are too late!!
 Keep it simple
 Be accurate and remember that the media usually
know less than the agency
 Ensure clearance of media material at appropriate
level within department
 Involve the public affairs staff
Don'ts of Dealing with the Media

 Never assume what is said is ‘off the record’
or ‘background briefing’
 Don’t assume they have understanding of
the issue
 Don’t answer their questions on their first
call - hang up, get your facts, ring them
 If you don’t know, don’t answer the question
Interactions With The Media

Understand the outcome you want to achieve with the

media and use appropriate strategies:

 positive - proactive
 defensive - reactive
 back grounding

Seek advice from your public affairs staff