Business Politics

Who Keeps Tracks of Deals?

Today, developed nations have taken more seriously the occurrence of political corruption. There has been growing concern on who will police statesmen and their activities and on who will advocate the struggle against corruption. In light of this, organizations have sprung to address the issue.

Some examples of groups who monitor and aim to prevent corruption:

• Transparency International (TI) – A multinational NGO that is in the vanguard in the fight against corruption. One of its prime advocacies is addressing corruption in the political level of nations around the world. Transparency International is world-renowned for its Corruptions Perceptions Index, which is a comparative listing of corruption in countries worldwide. Its international headquarters is situated in Berlin, Germany.

TI was founded as a not-for-profit organization in Germany in 1993. It is currently a non-governmental organization, is composed of one hundred national chapters, and is claiming to be heading in a completely democratic organizational structure.

Although Transparency International does not involve itself in exposes or investigations, it closely works with governments, corporate entities, and other civil society organizations in developing systems and tools in monitoring and fighting corruption.

• The United Nations and its Convention Against Corruption - In December 4, 2000, the General Assembly decided to implement an international legal instrument against corruption that would be independent of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. This decision gave birth to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, which came into force on December 14, 2005.

Highlights of the Convention:
1. Prevention – The Convention recognizes the fact that corruption can be bested if it isn’t allowed to occur at all. In this light, an entire chapter of the Convention is dedicated in preventing the practice in both the private and public sectors. Measures include model preventative policies, which enhance transparency in the affairs of political parties and election campaigns. States are required to exert effort in ensuring that safeguards that increase transparency, efficiency and recruitment based on merit will be imposed on virtually all their public services. Under this mandate, codes of conduct, appropriate disciplinary measures, and requirements for disclosures should be applied to all of its public servants.
2. Criminalization – The Convention obligates countries to encompass a wide range of acts of corruption as criminal offences. The Convention goes beyond what was deemed to be corruption; it now includes the concealment and laundering of the proceeds of corruption and trading in influence. It also deals in the fields of private-sector corruption.
3. International Cooperation – Countries are obligated by the Convention to provide cooperative legal assistance in collecting and transferring evidence. They are also mandated to construct measures that sill aid the tracking, capturing and confiscating profits of corruption.
4. Asset Recovery – Several countries have already agreed on this precept of the Convention. This is a very vital issue for many developing countries whose resources have been siphoned off.

Provisions on how aid and cooperation can be rendered have now been specified; in the scenario where public funds have been embezzled, seized assets will be sent back to the state requesting it.

Through the numerous pre-emptive and monitoring measures they have developed, international watchdogs like Transparency International and the United Nations’ Convention Against Corruption have raised the bar in policing statesmen and their affairs.