Chipping away at corruption

Filed under - Transparency International

Opinion by Dr Peter Eigen, Founder of Transparency International in Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (United States) – 15 May 2014
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Do you need to obtain an overseas permit to complete your investigation? Just pay the local government a little extra to unclog the permits' pipeline. Are your company's prospective clients about to sign on the dotted line, but they need a little incentive? Just fly them and their families to Hawaii for all-expense-paid "working vacations." Does your firm need to move to the top of the bidders' list for that prize high-rise construction job? Just slip them a few thousand euros, dollars, pesos, francs, yen or the trending popular currency.

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners formally defines corruption as "the wrongful use of influence as a benefit for the actor or another person, contrary to the duty or the rights of others." But in more common terms, corruption is that under-the-table, quid pro quo that wreaks havoc on societies. Public power for private gain.

Some countries and organizations worship before the monolith of corruption. Others resignedly capitulate to it. Regardless, many believe that the gears of the marketplace and government can't turn without a little grease. Don't count Peter Eigen in that number.

"I used to work as the director of the World Bank office in Nairobi for East Africa," Eigen says during a 2009 TED Talk. "At that time, I noticed that corruption, that grand corruption, that systematic corruption was undermining everything we were trying to do. And therefore, I began to not only try to protect the work of the World Bank, our own projects, our own programs against corruption, but in general, I thought, ‘We need a system to protect the people in this part of the world from the ravages of corruption.'

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Region - Global   
Language(s) - English   
Topic - Access to information   |   Accountability   |   Advocacy   |   Asset recovery   |   Politics and government   |   Private sector   |   Transparency International   
Tags - CPI   |   OECD   |   Peter Eigen   |   Bribery   |   Poverty   |   World Bank   |   Governance   

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