How We Can Fight Corruption

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Corruption is the act of misusing the public office for one’s own benefit or for the sake of any other illegal advantage by a public servant. A public servant is one who performs a public duty for the office that they are authorized to work for. 

When corruption is afoot, every person’s dignity and fundamental rights are at risk. Corruption also poses serious operational, reputational and financial risks. It goes without saying that we need to put a stop to this now more than ever because if we don’t, it will only continue to grow and eventually lead to chaos. A most recent example of this includes Russian-born businesswoman, Marsha Lazareva, who was released from her imprisonment in Kuwait 470 days after being charged for money embezzlement. 

Use the following strategies to start bringing fairness and transparency back into society:

1. Empower Citizens

We need to strengthen the demands of the populous for anti-corruption and empower them to hold their governments so that mutual trust between the government and the citizens can be built. Community monitoring initiatives, for example, have, in some places, provided opportunities for detection of corruption, improve the quality and quantity of public services and reduced fund leakages. 

Transparency International Slovenia developed an interactive map to monitor local elections. The public can use the app to populate it with pictures and reports of any possible irregularities in the election. Because of this, various cases of misused public funds to support specific candidates were discovered. 

2. Give Govt Employers Better Salaries

Most employees who do government jobs receive low wages like office staff, clerks, etc. Because of this, they are forced to make more money through bribery. To do this, the workers procrastinate in their jobs until clients get fed up and have no other choice but to opt for bribery to make progress. That’s why low salaries need to be raised to curb this dilemma. 

3. Put an End to Impunity

Only by effective law enforcement can the corrupt be punished and break the cycle of impunity, otherwise freedom from loss or punishment. 

To ensure proper enforcement tactics, a strong legal framework needs, an effective, independent court system, and law enforcement branches need to be utilized. 

4. Cameras at Most Govt Offices

There are cameras equipped at every ATM to monitor people withdrawing their money. Therefore, it would make a lot of sense to have government offices keep cameras to monitor the performances of their employees. After all, there are quite a lot of employees that openly take bribes in the open, i.e., in front of ordinary people. This happens because of the confidence knowing that the public wants their work done more than the amount they are paying for bribes. 

5. Encourage Access and Transparency to Information

Nations that have had successes at curbing corruption have a long history of transparency and access to information, freedom of the press and government openness. Access to information boosts responsiveness from government bodies, while also having a positive influence on the levels of public participation in the nation. 

6. Verify Selection Procedures

When plenty of people compete for government jobs, there’s bound to be corruption involved, especially in the selection of candidates for the posts. So to take care of this, the selection criteria need to be transparent, and any act of misconduct shall be punished. 

7. Reform Financial Management and Public Administration

Reforms that focus on strengthening the role of auditing agencies and improving financial management have experienced greater successes than public sector reforms on eradicating corruption. 

One of these reforms includes the disclosure of budget information, which prevents misappropriation and waste of resources. The Transparency International Sri Lanka, for example, encourages participatory and transparent budgeting by training local communities to comment on the proposed budgets of their local government.

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