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Dominic Kavakeb
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Criminal networks use corruption to carry out criminal activity, avoid investigation and escape prosecution. Criminal factions who abuse international borders in order to conduct their business put pressure on public services, local communities and legitimate businesses and an easy way to achieve this is through corruption.

Corruption can manifest itself in several stages of a conflict. In the 1980’s it was one of the initial drivers of conflict in Burundi, Guatemala and El Salvador. In all three, corruption catalysed a wide range of grievances against the central government by various social groups. Corruption can also thrive after the conflict has ended, preying on weak institutions which have not been allowed to fully form and develop.

A new study on donor transparency shows that many aid agencies are not putting into practice the levels of disclosure that they typically demand from the governments which receive their money. Produced by Publish What You Fund, the global campaign for aid transparency, the study compiles an index to see how different donor agencies measure-up when it comes to opening up their own books on how much aid they give, where and what for.

 

In a report published by Transparency International UK earlier this year, respondents were asked to rank several scenarios as a possible example of corruption. 86% of respondents thought that ‘a seat in the House of Lords for a businessman who has made large donations to a political party’ was potentially corrupt, the highest score for any of the scenarios.

Maria Gili and Leah Wawro of Transparency International’s Defence and Security Programme outline obstacles to more transparency and accountability in how countries spend their defence budgets.

 

2011 has been a year of passionate political protests around the world, often provoked by high levels of corruption in public life. Many citizens feel their leaders and public institutions are neither transparent nor accountable, and all too often are systemically corrupt. 

Rachel Davies speaks to Robert Barrington, Director of External Affairs at Transparency International UK, about anti-bribery procedures and TI-UK’s new training module, Doing Business Without Bribery.

Commercial businesses owned by the military are a surprisingly common phenomenon which is open to a wide range of potential abuses. As there is extremely limited information on such businesses, Transparency International’s Defence and Security Programme (TI-DSP) has taken a first step through an initial review. Saad Mustafa explores the topic.

The Indian government recently decided to spend $11 billion to purchase Rafale fighter jets from Dassault Aviation. The deal includes a commitment from the company to spend $6 billion in the country– a typical “offset” contract that often accompanies defence sales and can be spent on projects ranging from direct technology transfer to those unrelated to the defence procurement such as building roads.

This week the European Commission has published an EU-wide public opinion survey on corruption. It highlights the fact that citizens across Europe perceive corruption as a major problem, and includes opinions on which are the most corruption-prone sectors.

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