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The United States has a decentralized system of anti-corruption oversight unique in the world. Rather than a single national anti-corruption agency, an array of state, local, and federal offices have evolved to safeguard public integrity through both enforcement and oversight, including ethics commissions, inspectors general, ombudsman offices, and specialized prosecutorial and investigative units. Most of these offices were created by state and local governments in the last 25 years, often in response to citizen demands for efficiency and accountability in the public sector following a scandal.1 In the last decade alone, local corruption scandals have prompted cities like Houston, Philadelphia, and Detroit to create offices of the inspector general. State prosecutors in Colorado, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and other states have formed specialized public integrity units to pursue corruption cases previously delegated to federal authorities.

This diverse, burgeoning ecosystem of new oversight offices has the potential to revolutionize anti-corruption enforcement in the United States. However, the individual offices responsible for fighting corruption are too often disparate and adrift, unconnected to peers in other jurisdictions and experts in their fields. Even though these offices face common challenges and can take advantage of shared best practices, they are often too overwhelmed and under-resourced to share expertise and insights.

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