This Anti-Corruption Helpdesk brief was produced in response to a query from a U4 Partner Agency. The U4 Helpdesk is operated by Transparency International in collaboration with the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre based at the Chr. Michelsen Institute.
Please provide an assessment of the legal powers and structure of the anti-corruption agency (ACA) in Tanzania (including cooperation with national law enforcement and prosecution agencies) and contrast them with the models encountered in other countries with a similar legal tradition.
There are currently discussions in Tanzania on whether to have the Prevention and Combatting of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) take on the powers to prosecute serious cases of corruption. At the moment, the PCCB only has authority to prosecute small-scale bribery, while the prosecution function sits with the director for public prosecutions. The purpose of this query is to obtain further evidence and inform our position towards these discussions.
- The role of anti-corruption agencies in tackling corruption: from high hopes to pragmatism
- Designing ACAs to have an impact
- The role and impact of the anti-corruption agency in Tanzania
- Concluding notes
The decision of whether to equip specialised anti-corruption agencies with prosecutorial powers requires the consideration of an expansive list of potential advantages and disadvantages. The empirical evidence is limited and inconclusive, yet strongly suggests considering the appropriate designs on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the current state of the ACA, its relations with and relative efficacy in relation to other institutions in the broader justice system, as well as the broader political dynamics that shape current performance and prospects for reform or co-optation. Whether to expand the remit of Tanzania’s ACA to include stronger prosecutorial powers will thus require a careful and detailed assessment of a wide range of influencing factors that are beyond the scope of this answer. The limited information base available for this secondary desk research exercise suggests a number of pros and cons that merit further on-site unpacking and examination.
Dieter Zinnbauer and Roberto Martinez B. Kukutschka, Transparency International