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Counter Corruption Conference Scottish Police College September 19th 2013

Robert Barrington Executive Director, Transparency International UK


Agenda – An overview of Global Corruption – Observations on enablers of corruption – The role of civil society – Progress and challenges – 5 things Scotland could do


Corruption’s victims •Individuals – Example: when individuals who cannot afford bribes are denied access to social housing that is theoretically free of charge

•Companies – Example: a company losing a contract to a corrupt competitor

•Public institutions – Example: a police force that will not investigate cases unless bribed to do so

•Society – Example: detrimental effect of a judiciary that does not make fair decisions when favourable verdicts can be obtained by bribery

•Economy – Example: deterrent to investment when a country’s infrastructure has been poorly-built by a company that obtained contracts corruptly

•Democracy – Example: financial incentives to individuals to keep themselves in power leads to ballot-rigging


Is corruption always illegal? • Sometimes illegal – eg bribery

• Sometimes unethical but legal – – – –

MPs’ expenses Revolving door Political party donations Unregulated political lobbying

Where does corruption happen? Corruption Perceptions Index 2012


Corruption Perceptions Index



Global Corruption Barometer, TI, 2013


June 2011 report

Data scarcity •

A leaked Metropolitan Police investigation in 2006 estimated that there are around 1000 corrupt prison officers currently working, with a further 600 officers being involved in an inappropriate relationship with a prisoner.

In 2009 alone, there were 10,090 prosecutions under the 2006 Fraud Act, with no indication as to how many may have included some elements of corruption.

It is currently estimated that 38,000 people are involved in organised crime in the UK, and such activities cost the economy anywhere between £20 and £30 billion per year.

A 2006 survey for the construction sector found that 41% of respondents had personally been offered a bribe at least once in their career.

National opinion survey

Institutional analysis National Integrity System (NIS)

Corruption in the UK

Scorecard 2013

Enablers of corruption •Creating the space in which corruption can thrive – – – – – – – –

Lack of transparency Lack of accountability Poor governance Poor tone from the top Poor auditing and compliance Poor enforcement Complicity Intolerance of whistleblowers 15

Poor practice - excuses

Responses to corruption •Closing down the space in which corruption can thrive – – – – – –

Tone from the top Risk assessment Effective policies and procedures Due diligence Communication and training Monitoring and review

• Robust National Integrity System • Identify who owns the problem 17

The role of Anti-Corruption Agencies • • • •

Created in many countries (sometimes called Commissions) Coordinate a country’s anti-corruption activity Provide independent scrutiny Variety of functions – – – –

Education Standard-setting Performance monitoring Investigation and prosecution

4 Roles for Civil Society in fighting corruption – Research – Transparency – Investigation – Advocacy


What is civil society?

• Ordinary citizens • Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) • Charities • Student groups • Think-tanks • Religious groups • Other


Some characteristics of civil society

• Committed to a cause • Sometimes controversial • Relatively small organisations • Occasional extraordinary successes • At times very powerful


Some limitations of civil society • • • • • • •

Under-resourced No direct power Enthusiastic but unprofessional? Over-dependence on media? Subject to intimidation and oppression Can be ‘captured’ What is the mandate – and who does it represent?


Solutions involving Civil Society - I – In TI Bangladesh’s national household survey 44 per cent of patients in public health facilities reported having paid bribes. – In response, the chapter provided mobile advice services in public hospitals to provide patients with information about their rights. – Nearly 130 information desks run by youth volunteers advised almost 30,000 people. – The efforts paid off, with more doctors being available on time, the prevention of unauthorised payments, the setting-up of information boards and complaint boxes, and fewer patients diverted to private clinics for services that are available in public hospitals. 23

Solutions involving Civil Society - II – Having been instrumental in the passage of the country’s access to information law, the TI chapter in Guatemala, Acción Ciudadana, is working to ensure it is properly implemented. – Public demand for information under the law is strong, but some public officials refused to disclose requested information, falsely claiming exemption under the law. – To protect citizens’ rights, Accion Ciudadana has taken legal action, successfully resulting in ministers providing the requested information. 24

Solutions involving Civil Society - III –Under its Transparent Local Government project, TI Slovakia helped the city of Martin adopt anti-corruption measures in areas such as selling assets, recruitment, civic participation in decision-making, access to information and procurement. – Information including contracts, budgets and investments is now published online. – The measures helped the city save around US $200,000 (€143,790) or 28 per cent of planned procurement expenditure in the second half of 2009. 25

Progress • Global legal framework in place • Understanding of how corruption works causes, impacts, victims • Emerging body of good practice • Citizen anger


Challenges • • • • • • •

It doesn’t seem to have got any better Resources for enforcement Intelligence and information Impunity – they get away with it Complexity of cases Easy to hide the assets Political will for enforcement


Six things that can be done • National Integrity Study for Scotland • Strong enforcement of Bribery Act • Foster civil society • Collect corruption data • Create a corruption whistleblowing mechanism • Consider creating an Anti-Corruption Agency



PPT Presentation: Counter Corruption Conference (Scottish Police College, September 2013)  
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