Corruption Perception in CIDCO, Navi Mumbai

Context
In an attempt to increase transparency and public accountability, attempts are being made by public authorities to address instances of administrative delay, mistakes or disagreements that are attributed to corruption. To address actual corruption, a dedicated Vigilance department was created within the organization. Since the appointment of a Chief Vigilance Officer, CIDCO, has taken several initiatives to reduce the levels of corruption at CIDCO. For example, by launching a dedicated vigilance web link CIDCO is expanding its efforts to identify and respond to corruption. This website is aimed at increasing access to the Vigilance Department and enhancing ease of reporting through a system that protects the complainant’s identity. Initiating anti-corruption investigations, urging departments to develop a citizen’s charter and regular interaction with heads of departments are some of the other measures taken by the department.

Now, the Vigilance Department at CIDCO is seeking to quantify public perception of corruption in the organization through the development of a corruption perception index that gives a numerical value comparable over time. Through the corruption perception index the department aims to draw a clear distinction between complaints due to actual corruption and other factors. The ultimate objective is to understand if initiatives taken by the Vigilance Department and/or CIDCO have succeeded in improving and/or rationalizing the organization’s perception among the wider public.

Objectives

After discussions with the Chief Vigilance Officer, the Smart City Lab has identified the following key activities under this project.

  1. Analyzing previous corruption complaints captured in hardcopy format to create baseline data for a perception index
  2. Developing a corruption perception index for four departments at CIDCO
  3. Conducting ‘exit surveys’ of four CIDCO departments – surveys of citizens that have completed an interaction or transaction with these departments
  4. Improving the existing website for reporting and displaying corruption

Tasks

Untitled

 

Scope of Work

  1. Analyzing previous corruption complaints captured in hardcopy format to create baseline data for a perception index

In the past complaints were only reported and recorded on paper. These complaints are available in hardcopy format. The objective of this activity to analyze these records to gather baseline statistics on  corruption at CIDCO. Analysis of records over the last 6 to 12 months is expected to yield data on

  • the number of corruption related complaints against each department
  • classification of complaints into different categories
  • the frequency of different types of complaints
  • transaction amounts (if any)
  • designation or level at which corruption was experienced
  1. Developing a corruption perception index for four departments at CIDCO

There are several corruption perception indices used by different agencies across the world. The more notable ones include indices developed by Transparency International, World Bank and the World Economic Forum. In the Indian context, Janaagraha has developed a corruption perception index that can be applied to city governments in India.

The objective of this activity is to adapt an existing corruption perception index to CIDCO’s context or create a new index for four departments at CIDCO. The four departments identified for this project are Engineering, Marketing, Social Service and the Estates department. These departments have been selected because they have a relatively higher engagement with citizens and each has prepared a corresponding  charter for citizen services  – a document that spells out the scope of all services offered by the department with corresponding turnaround times. This is aimed at drawing a distinction between actual corruption and dissatisfaction with services due to administrative delays and systemic inefficiencies.

The agency responsible for creating the corruption perception index would be expected to undertake

  • A review of existing literature on corruption perception
  • Develop a corruption perception index suitable for four departments at CIDCO
  • Invite a review of the methodology and index through a workshop with experts and agencies working in this area
  • Develop a questionnaire for ‘exit surveys’ to be conducted outside these four departments such that the questions capture data that can feed into the corruption perception index
  1. Conducting ‘exit surveys’ of four CIDCO departments – surveys of citizens that have completed an interaction or transaction with these departments

The exit surveys have two clear objectives

  1. Using a questionnaire of around 10 questions to collect data that feeds into the corruption perception index
  2. Draw a clear distinction between dissatisfaction or negative perceptions due to administrative delays or deficiencies and corruption

These surveys will be conducted every three months outside the four departments. The survey will poll citizens that have just completed an interaction or transaction with these departments. It is proposed to conduct the survey  for a duration of one working with 50-100 respondents for each department. However, the agency undertaking the survey is expected to verify the appropriateness of this sample size and make changes if necessary.

It is also hoped that the corruption perception index can help inform management interventions by CIDCO (Vigilance Department or any other department) that prevalent malpractices. Therefore the questionnaire must also attempt to reflect specific management interventions or strategies adopted by the Vigilance Department at CIDCO.

  1. Improving the existing website for reporting and displaying corruption

At present the reporting format of the website allows citizens and complainants to air any grievances against CIDCO. Initial complaints recorded and put up for public display reveal that the website is drawing emotive responses that may not be a reaction to specific instances of corruption rather systemic inadequacies, incompetence at CIDCO, failure to deliver or the absence of corrective action by the concerned department.

The objective of this activity is to make improvements to the online form / questionnaire currently used by the public to report complaints. The improvements are expected to draw a clear distinction between complaints emerging from corruption and complaints due to other factors such as shortage of staff, administrative delays etc. This will lead to the development of a process flow chart for corruption complaints submitted online and/or in written format to the CVO’s office.

In addition, the agency / consultant is required to improve the appearance of the website and implement strategies to increase traffic to the website and encourage people to report online.