Saturday 9 December is an important date in the CourtHeath calendar as it marks the 12th International Anti-Corruption Day. This year we are #UnitedAgainstCorruption as we recognise the global nature of the problem and how the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission is tackling it in Victoria.
The organisers of International Anti-Corruption Day, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the United Nations Development Programme, have highlighted that: “Corruption is the single greatest obstacle to economic and social development around the world. Every year $1 trillion is paid in bribes while an estimated $2.6 trillion are stolen through corruption – a sum equivalent to more than 5 per cent of the global GDP.” Corruption weakens state institutions that are the basis for fair and equitable societies. It is the single greatest obstacle to economic and social development around the world. The UN tells us, and we at CourtHeath agree, that transparency and accountability are key to the prevention of corruption.
Here in Victoria, IBAC has a vision of a Victorian public sector that actively resists corruption. IBAC has been active in 2016 and 2017 educating the community about corruption through its When something’s not right. Report it. campaign. The campaign has two clear goals: to improve community understanding of public sector corruption, and to call on all Victorians to identify and report public sector corruption. Extending from cities to regional areas, with extensive multimedia advertising, the campaign represents a significant investment by the Victorian government.
Indeed, it highlights that corruption will not be tolerated in this state.
IBAC has also taken steps to measure ‘Perceptions of corruption’ through surveys of the Victorian Public Sector, local government employees and members of Victoria Police. The survey results are used to inform IBAC’s future prevention and engagement strategies. The 2017 survey found that respondents had a sound understanding of corruption and could distinguish it from misconduct, but had a low level of knowledge on how to report it. Corruption was recognised as something that happens in Victoria, but less than 20% saw it as a problem in their workplace. IBAC explains: “Local government employees were more likely to state that they know how to report corruption, who to report it to and to have greater confidence that their council promotes a culture of honesty and integrity, than state government employees.”
With roughly 5000 allegations about suspected corruption and police conduct last financial year and 47 formal recommendations for public sector agencies to improve their systems, practices and controls, it seems that there is still some way to go before IBAC achieves its vision. However, its ‘Perceptions of corruption’ surveys highlight that it is making some headway in educating Victorians, so that we are #UnitedAgainstCorruption.
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A participant in the UN Global Compact, CourtHeath seeks to raise awareness about the Sustainable Development Goals and the principles of the Global Compact with business and government organisations in Victoria.
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IMAGE from www.anticorruptionday.org/ (UN Photo: Emmanuel Hungrecker)
Julia Cornwell McKean and Brecon Darbyshire.
[category courtheath's blog]
[Anti-corruption, integrity, UnitedAgainstCorruption]