14 December 2010

The World Bank coordinated a meeting last week of the International Corruption Hunters Alliance.  This network involving anticorruption officials from 134 countries, was discussing how to do more to investigate and prosecute corrupt actors including those who defraud World Bank projects.  The Bank president spoke of the need to trigger a moral revulsion as well as a legal reaction in places where “…corruption buys impunity, strangles fair opportunity, cripples competition, encourages conflict, stalls economic transformation and chokes growth.”

The Corruption Hunters Alliance, meeting for the first time, considers that some promising successes against corruption achieved by smaller networks would be amplified by their larger alliance. While investigating and sanctioning  corruption, the Alliance seeks opportunities to embrace integrity.

Concern about diminished integrity underpins the Office of the Auditor General’s report NZ Central Government : Results of 2009/2010 audits tabled in Parliament today. Investigations have uncovered deep seated problems, reflecting systemic and cultural issues within some organisations. Public sector leaders are reminded by the Auditor General that it is important to be vigilant about values, organisational culture, and basic systems.  “It is possible for practice to drift away from its roots and for individual decisions to start to go awry, especially in long-standing areas of activity.”

The summary also includes data about the reporting standards of Tertiary Education Institutes, State Owned Enterprises and Government Departments.  Fewer departmental reports received the ‘very good’ marking given to most TEIs and SOEs.