July 18, 2013Doug Hadden
Doug Hadden, VP Products
There is a startling Ted Talk from Charmain Gooch of Global Witness from earlier this month that puts corruption, particularly tax evasion and money laundering in perspective. This is certainly not the world of "petty corruption." Ms. Gooch describes how corruption at scale requires global facilitation that includes international banking, the use of shell companies and failure of politicians in developed countries to back up the rhetoric. And, the supply side of corruption such as resource companies are part of this facilitiation. I was struck by her comments about how these forms of corruption are to the benefit of wealthy elites at the expense of the poor. And, the global elites across countries – the centre-periphery model in operation. Ms. Gooch points out that the scale of resources outflow from developing countries dwarfs inflows of aid.
Corruption facilitation thrives in opaque processes. Of the lack of transparency among governments and the financial system. That's why transparency standards like IATI, EITI, CoST and the emerging OpenContracting are so critical. Otherwise, the "big fish" get away. I believe that transparency changes behaviour even when the accountability mechanisms may be weak. And, that accountability mechanisms thrive in the ocean of transparency.
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