Cleaner Hong Kong

Development Centre

The determined and innovative measures taken by the authorities of Hong Kong Territory are one of the few examples of a government instituting a major anti-corruption programme over a long period. In the space of twenty years or so, the scale of corruption has declined considerably. The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), a specialised body separate from the civil service and the police, and reporting directly to the governor, was set up.

It co-ordinates the fight against corruption on three fronts: enforcement, with investigation and prosecution of recent cases of corruption; prevention, by modifying the organisation and culture of the bureaucratic apparatus and by providing advice and assistance to companies on preventing corruption; and educating the population about the evils of corruption. All types of corruption were targeted: both public and private corruption, and “petty” and “high-level” corruption. Lastly, and most importantly, the strategy brought together the authorities and the business community, and the support of the population was constantly enlisted.

The campaign has borne fruit, earning kudos recently from Transparency International who applauded the relatively “clean” construction of the Hong Kong airport and its massive infrastructure. The US$20 billion project was carried out between 1991 and 1998 with a minimum of corruption, yet on schedule and, more importantly, within budget. Hong Kong is now largely seen as intolerant towards corruption. And the public and business no longer seem to consider it as part of everyday life. The ICAC appears to have benefited from these improvements too, with opinion polls showing the public overwhelmingly in favour of its anti-corruption initiatives.

Bibliography

Źde Speville, Bertrand, Hong Kong: Policy Initiatives Against Corruption, OECD Development Centre, 1997.

©OECD Observer No 220, April 2000




Economic data

E-Newsletter

Stay up-to-date with the latest news from the OECD by signing up for our e-newsletter :

Twitter feed

Suscribe now

<b>Subscribe now!</b>

To receive your exclusive paper editions delivered to you directly


Online edition
Previous editions

Don't miss

  • Trade is an important point of focus in today’s international economy. This video presents facts and statistics from OECD’s most recent publications on this topic.
  • How do the largest community of British expats living in Spain feel about Brexit? Britons living in Orihuela Costa, Alicante give their views.
  • Brexit is taking up Europe's energy and focus, according to OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría. Watch video.
  • OECD Chief Economist Catherine Mann and former Bank of England Governor Mervyn King discuss the economic merits of a US border adjustment tax and the outlook for US economic growth.
  • Africa's cities at the forefront of progress: Africa is urbanising at a historically rapid pace coupled with an unprecedented demographic boom. By 2050, about 56% of Africans are expected to live in cities. This poses major policy challenges, but make no mistake: Africa’s cities and towns are engines of progress that, if harnessed correctly, can fuel the entire continent’s sustainable development.
  • OECD Observer i-Sheet Series: OECD Observer i-Sheets are smart contents pages on major issues and events. Use them to find current or recent articles, video, books and working papers. To browse on paper and read on line, or simply download.
  • How sustainable is the ocean as a source of economic development? The Ocean Economy in 2030 examines the risks and uncertainties surrounding the future development of ocean industries, the innovations required in science and technology to support their progress, their potential contribution to green growth and some of the implications for ocean management.
  • The OECD Gender Initiative examines existing barriers to gender equality in education, employment, and entrepreneurship. The gender portal monitors the progress made by governments to promote gender equality in both OECD and non-OECD countries and provides good practices based on analytical tools and reliable data.
  • They are green and local --It’s a new generation of entrepreneurs in Kenya with big dreams of sustainable energy and the drive to see their innovative technologies throughout Africa. blogs.worldbank.org
  • Interested in a career in Paris at the OECD? The OECD is a major international organisation, with a mission to build better policies for better lives. With our hub based in one of the world's global cities and offices across continents, find out more at www.oecd.org/careers .

Most Popular Articles

OECD Insights Blog

NOTE: All signed articles in the OECD Observer express the opinions of the authors
and do not necessarily represent the official views of OECD member countries.

All rights reserved. OECD 2017