Accountability and transparency

Corruption is an aspect of poor governance which negatively affects a country’s economic development as well as the effective provision of public services in society. As the awareness of the detrimental effects of corruption on development has grown, strategies to fight it are now a priority in international development and policy circles. To date, however, few successes have resulted from the investment. In fact, in some countries corruption even seems to have become more entrenched in step with the efforts to curb it.

Parliaments have a key role in responding to the clear, present danger posed by current rates of environmental decline and a warming climate through its legislative, representative and scrutiny functions. First, through scrutiny and enactment of appropriate legislation and regulatory frameworks and, second, in reviewing the implementation of those laws. Because, where legislation has been enacted, implementation has not always matched the legislative ambitions. Further, where legislation is in force, the ambitions may not match what the science demands.

Legislatures are central to modern democratic politics, holding governments to account, and scrutinising legislation in order to generate more effective public policy. Yet during moments of crisis, legislatures are often bypassed as presidents and prime ministers prioritise a rapid response. The concern that legislatures will be marginalised, with greater power concentrated in the hands of the executive, has been particularly significant during COVID-19, when eighty countries have witnessed democratic backsliding.