Refugees, Failed Nations and Corruption

Refugees and Corruption
Refugees and Corruption

The weekly death toll and ongoing human tragedy of the refugee crisis internationally is stunning for several reasons.  First, despite all of the talk (and talk and talk) about humanitarian principles and human rights, the international community has not moved beyond shutting borders, denying visas, and tent cities to deal with the several refugee crises occurring around the world.

These crises are, of course, a direct result of the decay of nations – corruption.   Continue reading “Refugees, Failed Nations and Corruption”

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Social Media and Anti-Corruption

  There is a battle happening in Traditional and Social Media right now.  A battle for your mind. The battles attempt to define the reality of what is happening in Gaza and in Ukraine. Victory will go to the side that successfully convinces us what to believe is the “truth” in these countries. This same […]

Most of Us Work in Anti-Corruption

Cover-NewToolsforFightingCorruptioninOrganizationsOne way or another, most of us work in anti-corruption. As part of law enforcement, as government employees, as members of the private sector, community groups and even in families – at one time or another, almost all of us are involved in trying to make things better.

My own journey in anti-corruption is not very different from your own in that it has been driven by the urge to help make things better. Continue reading “Most of Us Work in Anti-Corruption”

Punishment, Whistle Blowers and Anti-Corruption

Preventing Organizational Corruption
Preventing Organizational Corruption

Punishment as a Behavior Modifier

If you read this blog, you know that I focus heavily on prevention of corruption and decay of organizations over investigation and prosecution. I believe that investigation and prosecution are critically important, but are fundamentally incomplete as anti-corruption tools.

We understand this from our everyday experience. Let’s take the traffic cop. Every day he hands out tickets for driving violations. Day after day. More tickets and more violations.Cover-NewToolsforFightingCorruptioninOrganizations

He knows his presence frightens some people into proper behavior. But mostly it does not. The traffic policeman, from his point of view, comes to believe that nothing can be done about traffic violations. By and large, we share his view. Continue reading “Punishment, Whistle Blowers and Anti-Corruption”

Tales from the Wild: “You give me 30% and I’ll make sure our government partners get their share.”

cimg4154.jpg“You give me the 30% of the deal, and I’ll make sure our government partners get their share.”

Excuse me? You’ll do what?

If you work internationally, you will invariably find that people don’t understand the FCPA, and don’t understand what they are asking. I’ve heard it for matters as small as a “cup of tea” in Kenya and a “cup of coffee” in Albania.

I’ve also heard it in blunt and large terms as I quoted above from an actual conversation. Continue reading “Tales from the Wild: “You give me 30% and I’ll make sure our government partners get their share.””

Corruption Prevention and the Art of War

Gradients in Anti-Corruption. B. Pinkowski
Gradients in Anti-Corruption. B. Pinkowski

The Highest form of generalship is to balk the enemy’s plan. Sun Tzu

The key idea in corruption prevention is . . . prevention. To stop something from happening before it can occur. Indeed, prevention is the heart of “anti-corruption.” This is discussed further in Gradients of Anti-Corruption and is depicted in the graphic above.

The Gradients are:

  1. Awareness
  2. Prevention
  3. Detection
  4. Correction

Continue reading “Corruption Prevention and the Art of War”

Decay of Social Agreements

Disagreement about the purpose of streets and sidewalks.
Disagreement about the purpose of streets and sidewalks.

Most corruption is well beyond “simple” violations of the law.  Corruption is the action of process of decay of something.  Criminal forms of corruption are violations of the written laws.

Other forms of corruption erode away the foundations of the social agreements we make about how society should function.  For example, in the photo above, there are cars parked all over the sidewalks, and people are forced to walk in the streets.  This happens in many countries and cities around the world and creates a tsunami of small obstacles for pubic policy makers that are trying to build economies. Continue reading “Decay of Social Agreements”