Our Perspectives

Shared commitment and collective action are key in fighting corruption


participants of anti-corruption campaignUNDP in Sudan Organized a Drawing Contest with the Faculty of Fine and Applied Art, University of Sudan as part of an Anti-corruption campaign. Photo credit: UNDP/Sudan

This is a call to action, a call against a cancer, a call for health and a call for integrity. In the fight against corruption, everyone has a stake. Businesses, large and small, require an enabling environment to support growth, jobs, trade, and innovation.

Only bad business thrives in an atmosphere of traffic of influence, access to privileged information and widespread bribery. That’s the businesses afraid to compete because they can’t win fair and square against the competition.

All other businesses, the medium enterprises, the startups, the big ones, the innovators, those who play by the rules need a state to enforce such rules. So the question is: are you afraid to compete or are you happy to play the integrity game?

In the midst of increasing pressures on public budgets striving to meet growing demand for more and better public services, the private sector presents models that are tremendously helpful to the public administration. The corporate world brings not only investment finance and capital but also normative frameworks, expertise and knowledge to the fight against corruption.

Yet, despite progress, corruption continues to be a major challenge for companies operating both in developed and developing countries. According to the Institute of Business Ethics Media Monitoring Report 2013 , bribery and facilitation payments are the most common reported issues in sectors that are critical to democratic governance and inclusive development: extractive industries (70%), security and defense (63%), big pharma (47%) and broadcast media (33%).

So, what do we do?

First, leadership can instill a culture of integrity, transparency and accountability. Ethical leaders are essential in promoting clean hands business practices connected to clean hands government rule.

Second, let us protect the public market place, where the state buys from the private sector. It’s called procurement. Ethical, competitive and transparent procurement is a good way to prove that private corporations compete and the state buys value for money.

Another good show of visibility is the disclosure of taxes and revenues paid by the private sector to government. “Publish what you Pay” should be applicable to our work at all levels. It helps business, and it also helps the citizens know what the government has cashed in and thus, what it will do with the public purse.”

Third, let us multiply public-private partnerships to make the movement stronger. At UNDP, we are committed to this partnership  and look forward to furthering  collective action.

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