While there is a rich body of literature on parliaments and parliamentary development per se, and an increasing number of research outputs on anti-corruption agencies (ACAs), surprisingly little has been written on the relations between these two actors, neither in general nor on specific issues or case studies.
Given that ACAs have to be independent, particularly of the government, it is the parliament’s responsibility to provide them with a strong mandate, guarantees of independence, security of tenure, but also to hold them accountable for their activities.
In this paper, we concentrate on parliament’s relationship to independent anti-corruption agencies, and not to different government (executive) bodies with anti-corruption functions.
We develop a set of key criteria for the analysis of the relationship between parliaments and ACAs, based on four important parliamentary functions:
- establishing the legal framework and mandate of the ACA;
- selection, appointment and removal of the leadership of the ACA;
- approving or reviewing the budget allocated to the ACAs;
- review and follow-up to annual and other reports of the ACAs.
This assessment framework is then tested on three case studies, namely Lithuania, Ukraine and Serbia, to see how it plays out in different institutional types (multi-purpose; law-enforcement; and prevention and policy) and stages of European integration (EU member state; EU candidate country; and Eastern Neighbourhood country).