Internationalizing the Fight Against Corruption: the Guatemala Showdown

Guatemala shows how a beleaguered citizenry can fight a thoroughly corrupt leadership. A joint United Nations/Guatemalan agency, known by its Spanish initials CICIG, has for several years been waging all out war against corruption in Guatemala (details here). Besides winning corruption convictions against countless senior politicians and military leaders, its investigations led to the 2015 ouster of then President Otto Pérez Molina and Vice President Roxana Baldetti for orchestrating a massive corruption scheme in customs.

To access the full blog, please click below:

https://globalanticorruptionblog.com/2017/08/30/internationalizing-the-fight-against-corruption-the-guatemala-showdown/ 


Away From The Fighting, Kabul Takes On Another Enemy: Corruption

Afghanistan’s government is mired in a war against a 16-year insurgency that has forced the capital into virtual lockdown, ignited deadly protests, and compelled the head of state to retreat behind the barricaded walls of Kabul’s presidential palace.

But off the battlefield, it is also waging a campaign against another evil: systemic government corruption.

To access the full blog, please click below:

https://www.rferl.org/a/afghanistan-corruption-graft-fight/28540795.html


Entrepreneurs Care About Corruption – Here’s How to Help Them Fight It.

A friend of mine has been trying to start an artisanal liquor business in a small Latin American country. He learned to ferment fruit, crafted a logo, scrounged for and sanitized several hundred glass bottles, registered his corporation with all the various agencies, and paid all of his initial taxes. After producing his first batch and selling it to a number of small shops, he decided it was time to expand. Unfortunately, when he began to negotiate sales to larger restaurants and grocery stores he ran into a major complication: liquor taxes. The high level of liquor taxation made his business model completely unprofitable. Trying to understand how any other liquor business stayed afloat, he discovered that one liquor manufacturer and importer dominated the market, and didn’t pay any taxes. How? Corruption. In order to stay in business, my friend had a choice: (A) he could stay small, fly under the radar, and avoid paying taxes, or (B) he could navigate the perilous and uncertain process of bribing his way out of paying taxes. He ended up choosing a third option: he closed up shop and went back to his day job.

To access the full blog, please click below:

 https://globalanticorruptionblog.com/2017/05/22/entrepreneurs-care-about-corruption-heres-how-to-help-them-fight-it/

 


Fighting Procurement Corruption: the Essential Role of Bid Challenge Systems

Ensuring firms that loose the competition for a government contract can challenge the result is a critical part of the fight against corruption in public procurement.  A losing bidder will have lost the chance to make a profit and will have invested time and money in preparing its bid.  It thus has not only a strong motive for contesting a decision it believes tainted by corruption but the expertise to do so.  Bid challenge systems complement procurement oversight by civil society.  Indeed, they may even be a more powerful tool.  Whereas civil society monitoring typically relies on public-spirited volunteers unfamiliar with the technical aspects of the procurement, bid challenge systems harness firms’ self-interest and technical knowledge in service of ferreting out procurement corruption.

To access the full blog, please click below:

 https://globalanticorruptionblog.com/2017/06/07/fighting-procurement-corruption-the-essential-role-of-bid-challenge-systems/

 


Exposing Procurement Corruption: Ten Questions to Ask

No government activity is more susceptible to corruption than public procurement. The process by which government decides what to buy and from whom is lengthy, technically complex, and riddled with decision points that give procurement officers enormous discretion.  Oversight is thus especially difficult.  Moreover, because so much money is involved, the temptations procurement offers corrupt public servants and their private sector accomplices are particularly great.  Some developed countries spend as much as one-third of their budget on the purchase of public works, goods, and services, and the available data suggests the figure may even be higher in developing countries.

To access the full blog, please click below:

https://globalanticorruptionblog.com/2017/04/12/exposing-procurement-corruption-eight-questions-to-ask/


Large-Scale Land Acquisitions: Opportunities for Corruption

Recent years have seen a significant rise in large-scale land acquisitions by foreign investors, generally for agricultural or extractive purposes. Many of these land deals, termed “land grabs,” have had injurious effects on local populations who are often pushed off of their land without their informed consent. (For a description of contemporary land grabs and a land grab bibliography, see here.) Foreign companies and governments secure the majority of these land deals in poorer countries, where large tracts of land can be purchased cheaply, and where many of the local inhabitants do not have the means to contest the deals through the legal system. The land is frequently used for agriculture or production of “flex crops” (such as soy or palm oil), which are then sold abroad, rather than to the host country. Therefore, land grabs can result in not only the displacement of local communities, but also the reallocation of these vital resources to external actors, rather than to the inhabitants of the host country.

To access the full blog, please click below:

https://globalanticorruptionblog.com/2017/01/20/large-scale-land-acquisitions-opportunities-for-corruption/

 


Building a Cadre of Procurement Professionals

Government purchases of goods, services, and public works constitute anywhere from 15 percent to as much as 40 percent of total public spending, and thus any government committed to fighting corruption should make procurement a priority. Corruption sneaks into public procurement in many ways in the long and often complex chain of events in the process: from identifying a need to designing the specifications for meeting the need to the award of a contract and the delivery of the final product.  While stepping up procurement audits and investigations can weed procurement out of corruption, far better is to keep it from infecting the process in the first place.

To access the full blog, please click below:

https://globalanticorruptionblog.com/2017/01/25/building-a-cadre-of-procurement-professionals/


The 2016 CPI and the Value of Corruption Perceptions

Last month, Transparency International released its annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). As usual, the release of the CPI has generated widespread discussion and analysis. Previous GAB posts have discussed many of the benefits and challenges of the CPI , with particular attention to the  validity of the measurement and the flagrant misreporting of its results . The release of this year’s CPI, and all the media attention it has received, provides an occasion to revisit important questions about how the CPI should and should not be used by researchers, policymakers, and others.

To access the full blog, please click below:

https://globalanticorruptionblog.com/2017/02/10/the-2016-cpi-and-the-value-of-corruption-perceptions/


5 Steps To An Anti-Corruption ‘Culture Of Compliance’

The purpose of this article is to consider how a corporation can create and maintain an anti-corruption “culture of compliance.” This is an interesting question to me because prior to joining Baker & McKenzie two years ago, I worked for a corporation that had developed a strong anti-corruption compliance culture. Since leaving the in-house world, I have thought about the circumstances or key elements that give rise to such a strong compliance culture in hopes of being able to help other companies develop a similar “culture of compliance.”

To access the full blog, please click below:

http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=8f1e5376-4ca2-4fd8-ae4c-108e59c5e3a3


Innovative or Ineffective?: Performance-Based Lending as an Anticorruption Tool

The Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs) new focus on fighting corruption and building institutions has generated quite a stir.  But the  Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) – a U.S. agency responsible for disbursement of assistance geared toward international development targets – has long been acting against corruption through its effort to achieve the SDG precursors, the  Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Institution-building does not appear among the substantive aims of the eight MDGs. Rather, the MCC made anticorruption central to its work by introducing corruption indices into its process for  competitive selection of aid recipients. In brief, the MCC Board of Directors chooses aid-eligible countries by evaluating and scoring candidates countries’ “policy performance” on a number of measures. Crucially, in order to qualify for aid, countries must score above average for their income group on the Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI) “Control of Corruption” score. The indicator is therefore known as the “hard hurdle.” The Board also assesses corruption trends in its analysis of a country’s ability to reduce poverty and generate economic growth, which, with policy performance, comprises the overall evaluation.

To access the full blog, please click below:

https://globalanticorruptionblog.com/2016/07/01/innovative-or-ineffective-performance-based-lending-as-an-anticorruption-tool/