The Role of Technology in Combating Corruption

By Ionescu, Luminita | Economics, Management and Financial Markets, September 2013 | Go to article overview

The Role of Technology in Combating Corruption


Ionescu, Luminita, Economics, Management and Financial Markets


ABSTRACT.

This study is grounded in the considerable body of scholarship examining citizens' expectations about open government, potential determinants for attitudes toward the new aspects of e-government, the capability to utilize egovemment for socio-economic development purposes, and social media's impact on e-govemment. My analysis complements the growing literature on the current state of social media use in government, the government-citizen relationship, the extent to which e-govemment use influences attitude about the new modes of e-govemment, and the impacts of macro-environmental factors on the diffusion, growth, and maturity of e-govemment globally.

JEL Codes: G18, D73, O11

Keywords: e-govemment, corruption, ICT, economic development, global

1. Introduction

This research makes conceptual and methodological contributions to multidimensional capabilities for e-govemment interoperability, e-govemment as a key strategy for improving the effectiveness of public policies and programs, the role of ICT in serving as a catalyst to enhance economic development, and the credibility of anticorruption mechanisms. Applying new conceptual and methodological approaches, this study advances to the next level research on information policy instruments and laws relevant to social media, government use of social media, the relationship between ICT driven e-govemment and corruption, and e-govemment initiatives to target corruption. The analysis presented in this paper contributes to research on the process of e-govemment implementation, the adoption of new technologies by government agencies, the use of ICT to connect citizens and government, and the relation between e-govemment and corruption.

2. The Relationship between ICT Driven E-government and Corruption

Corrupt practices have to be measured by an unbiased observer familiar with rules and policies in a given context. Countries with higher levels of corruption (Popescu, 2013) suffer from less than optimal economic development. Significant time and energy has been placed into reducing or eliminating corruption. Power distance and uncertainty avoidance have a negligible effect on corruption. Internet diffusion has a significant effect on transparency and corruption (Nica, 2013a), having a strong positive effect on levels of transparency and a strong negative effect on levels of corruption. Access to the Internet leads to significant decreases in corruption. (Gaskins, 2013) Mobile text reporting can provide a clear sense of the level and pattern of corruption within a state, and of what kinds of people are giving and taking bribes. (Rotberg and Aker, 2013) Bailard focuses on the potential influence that mobile phones will exert on corruption in Africa. Mobile phones will reduce corruption in Africa, as a result of decentralizing information and communication, diminishing the opportunities available to engage in corruption as well as increasing the potential of detection and punishment. The explosion of mobile phones into Namibia provides a valuable opportunity to explore the potential effects of information and communication technology on various economic and social outcomes. The results of a fixed effects regression of panel data reveal a significant negative correlation between a country's degree of mobile phone penetration and that country's level of perceived corruption. The degree of mobile phone signal coverage across 13 Namibian provinces is associated with reduced perceptions of corruption at the individual level. The use of cell phones by citizens can decrease corruption. Cell phones change the information environment, as they decentralize and increase the spread of information. The proliferation of cell phones increases the probability of detection of corrupt officials. (Bailard, 2009)

ICT can be utilized to provide public services more efficiently and disseminate information to citizens. IT enabled e-govemment can improve the transparency of the bureaucratic process. …

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