Blog

What makes the corrupt tick?

By Jean-Pierre Méan  Published on Tuesday December 11, 2018 One of the often cited causes of corruption is that in some (or more than some) countries, public officials need bribes to complement salaries that are hardly sufficient to cover their basic needs. This may be true to some extent, but it is equally true that, in those countries, public officials enjoy the privilege of having a salary (admittedly not always paid in time and sometime outstanding for extended periods) in an environment where large segments of the population do not. Whether or not complementing one’s salary is needed to...

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How does nepotism relate to bribery?

By Jean-Pierre Méan  Published on Tuesday November 13, 2018   Nepotism (from “nipote”, nephew in Italian) is the practice to favor one’s relatives for appointments to prestigious and coveted positions . It was not infrequent in church circles in the middle ages and until the 16thcentury (especially under the Borgia popes), whereby the term “nephew” may have described a closer relationship than that of uncle to nephew. In modern times, where the practice is by no means limited to nephews, one speaks rather of favoritism or cronyism, which implies giving preference to a friend or relative for...

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How to Unmask Phoney Anti-Corruption Measures

By Jean-Pierre Méan  Published on Tuesday October 23, 2018   With anti-corruption management systems such as ISO 37001 being currently en vogue it is not surprising that some actors may want to use them not as tools to prevent corruption but as instruments to pretend to prevent corruption or to cover up continuing poor practices with a veil of respectability. Here are a few ideas on how to unmask such subterfuges. The form and shape of an organization’s anti-corruption policy may give some indication of the seriousness of its anti-corruption efforts. Some organizations, including those...

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Is a tip a bribe?

By Jean-Pierre Méan  Published on Tuesday October 2, 2018   Usage with respect to tipping varies widely from country to country. In certain countries it is not required but expected, in others, it is not expected and rarely practiced and in yet others it is taken for granted and may even be added to the bill of foreigners expected to forget it. The amounts of tips also vary widely and go from rounding up the bill to 10, 15 or even 20%. Some see the origin of tips, at least in North America, in slavery. According to this theory, after the civil war, freed slaves were often hired in...

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TI’s Report on the enforcement of the OECD Convention is out

By Jean-Pierre Méan  Published on Tuesday September 18, 2018   Transparency International has just published its 2018 Exporting Corruption Report on the enforcement of the OECD Convention. This is the 12th edition of this report that has been published annually from 2005 to 2015. Although all countries to the OECD Convention have enacted legislation that has been considered to fulfill the requirements of the Convention (except for Peru that joined the Convention in July 2018 and Argentina and Ireland that will undergo a further review of their legislation in 2019), the level of implantation...

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Conflicts of Interest and Corruption

By Jean-Pierre Méan  Published on Tuesday September 4, 2018   The Commission on Corporate Responsibility and Anti-Corruption of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has recently published Guidelines on Conflicts of Interest in Enterprises. These guidelines, as well as other publications of the ICC, are particularly interesting because they reflect the consensus of a large number of experts and organizations from the business community. In this respect, the business world appears to have been and to remain at the forefront of fighting corruption, ahead of many states parties to the...

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