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TI’s Shaming Of Countries Accomplishes Little

namingshaming

I have no doubt that the individuals associated with Transparency International have a genuine interest in reducing bribery and corruption in the global marketplace.

Nevertheless, I have long had good-faith concerns (see prior posts here, here, here, here, here and here) about how TI goes about this task. The latest example is TI’s recent “shaming report” (that is my term, TI technically calls its report “Exporting Corruption – Progress Report 2018″).

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Do Corruption Rankings Actually Tell You Things You Don’t Already Know?

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For many years, Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) was the only game in town. (See here for why compliance professionals should take the CPI with a grain of salt).

But with each passing year it seems, there are other attempts to measure corruption and a sort of corruption index competition has developed. In other words, my corruption index is better than your corruption index and here are the reasons why.

For instance, this recent FCPA Blog post is titled “Not All Corruption Indexes Are Created Equal” and like much of what appears on the FCPA Blog the post is written by a person pushing their own organization’s product or service offering.

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Friday Roundup

Roundup

Funny, also funny, corruption in the anti-corruption industry, the head of the DOJ’s FCPA Unit writes, reasons for the general increase in FCPA enforcement, scrutiny alert, asset recovery, and for the reading stack. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

Funny

This recent FCPA Blog post asked “what’s the most important FCPA case ever” and stated: “The Africa Sting showed how far the feds would go to make a splashy FCPA case. But the final lesson was that using a big sting to concoct a supposed industry-wide conspiracy was a bad idea. The judge didn’t buy it, and neither did a couple of juries.”

Funny that the post doesn’t mention that the the person at the center of this failed, manufactured case was its current Contributing Editor and training partner Richard Bistrong.

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Sure, Non-Profits Have A Role To Play, But Being Informed, Impartial And Responsible Is Important Too

Important

This recent guest post on the FCPA Blog by the Executive Director of the U.K. Chapter of Transparency International stated that not-for-profits have an “important role” to play in “the crowded anti-bribery and compliance space.”

True, non-profits have an important role to play and previous posts (here and here among others) have noted the good work of certain non-profits in raising awareness of bribery and its effects and seeking to reduce bribery and corruption around the world.

However, along with this important role comes an implicit duty to be informed, impartial and responsible and this post highlights how certain non-profits in the bribery and corruption space seemingly fail these important metrics.

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Compliance Professionals Should Take The Corruption Perceptions Index With A Grain Of Salt

Grain of Salt

Transparency International, a global civil society organization dedicated to the fight against corruption, released today its annual Corruption Perceptions Index (“CPI”).  (See here for TI’s release).

As stated by TI, the CPI “scores and ranks countries/territories based on how corrupt a country’s public sector is perceived to be” and 176 countries were ranked with Denmark, New Zealand, Finland, Sweden, and Switzerland topping the list (i.e. low levels of perceived corruption) and Somalia, South Sudan, North Korea, Syria, and Yemen on the bottom of the list (i.e. high levels of perceived corruption). The U.S. was ranked a rather paltry 18th behind many peer countries.

The CPI generates a lot of media coverage and is a popular tool for business organizations in ranking risk (and thus prioritizing compliance). However, for the reasons highlighted in this post compliance professionals should take the CPI with a grain of salt.

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