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Corruption and Governance – what role can communications play?. Dr Randal G Stewart Timmins Stewart Pty Ltd. What is corruption?. Three elements present when an individual engages in corrupt conduct.

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corruption and governance what role can communications play

Corruption and Governance – what role can communications play?

Dr Randal G Stewart

Timmins Stewart Pty Ltd

three elements present when an individual engages in corrupt conduct
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 detection
change management and corruption prevention
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
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)

governance what does it mean
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 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 goals;
  • An understanding of the elements of the public interest;
  • 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 negotiate;
  • Skill in the presentation of information and recommendations to facilitate fully informed decisions by those responsible for decision making

Policy Advice Function

  • Policy advice is an important (and costly) output and is identified and costed in each agency’s Portfolio Budget Statement.
  • 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 possible.

“Policy makers are not faced with a given problem. Instead they have to identify and formulate their problem.”

(Charles Lindblom)

outcomes outputs
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 outputs1
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 outcomes
  • 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
Outcomes & Outputs Framework

Outcome Indicators


Administered Item Indicators

Feedback for Design


Output Indicators

Agency Output(s)

Administered Item(s)

outcomes outputs2
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
Steps in the Policy Process
  • Problem identification
  • Policy formulation
  • Adoption/decision making
  • Implementation evaluation

What’s the context?

What issues/links

need consideration

What’s this about?

What do we need to do?


Who else in my


needs to be involved?

Do we have prime


What information

data needs



Is a whole of

government response






issues need



Who needs to decide?

(Minister? Cabinet?)

What other agencies

or non-government groups

have an interest?


If legislation is involved what issues

arise in thinking about getting this

through Parliament

How does this fit with the

government’s views/

preferences/ commitments?

Political Dimension

What does the Minister


How can the policy case

be presented effectively

to the Public and other


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

we seeking?

Does this address the

real problem(s)?

Broader public context

Will this be seen to be

an appropriate response?

What’s the experience

here and overseas?

What needs to be done

To turn policy intentions

Into action?

Who are the stakeholders?

Who wins/loses? How do we manage?

australia and the solomon islands
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
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

TYRANTS – state-based/insurgents
  • LIBERATIONISTS – those competing for state power
  • WESTERN POWERS – diplomats and donors
  • HUMANITARIANS – public and private
  • PEOPLE – men, women and children
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 future.
  • 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
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 field.
  • 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
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 non-markets.
  • Structure. It depends. Usually decentralised in markets. Frequently centralised in non markets (“granted rights” favour centralisation of non-markets).
  • 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

Media and Policy Development

  • Media is an important player
  • Media and government are in a symbiotic relationship
  • 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 back
  • 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