The Role of Parliament in Curbing Corruption

By Rick Stapenhurst; Niall Johnston et al. | Go to book overview

Appendix 2
WBI-CPA Conferences at Wilton Park: Reports

Nicholas Hopkinson and Riccardo Pelizzo


Report on Wilton Park Conference 704

THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT AND PARLIAMENT IN CURBING
CORRUPTION IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

Introduction

1. Corruption will always exist. Because it cannot be eliminated totally, we can only try to curb and control it, rather than fight it. Although corruption is universal, states in transition, where democracy and a market economy have only recently been established, are particularly afflicted. For example, corruption is regarded as the most significant political challenge in most Central and East European countries.1

2. There are three levels of corruption: “grand” or high-level corruption, which affects the mechanisms of political decision making (“state capture”) and decisions on large projects and public contracts; “functional” corruption, which affects central and local administrations; and “institutional” corruption, which influences administrative culture and economic and social activities. What separates state capture from conventional forms of political influence, such as lobbying, are the illicit, hidden, and preferential mechanisms by which the private interests interact with the state. In the civil service, corruption involves the misuse of an official position for actual or expected material reward or gain. Effectively, the individual does something he or she should not do, or fails to do something he or she is required to do. A corrupt act can occur on or off duty, but it must be related to the individual’s employment or conduct of his or her position.

1 Wilton Park reports are summaries of the main points and conclusions of the conferences. The reports reflect rapporteurs7 personal interpretations of the proceedings-as such, they do not constitute any institutional policy of Wilton Park, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, or the World Bank Institute, nor do they necessarily represent the views of the rapporteurs.

-251-

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