This is an essay on “Corruption” for CSS, PMS, and All Judiciary examinations. Corruption, as it is defined by the World Bank, is a form of dishonesty or a criminal offense that is undertaken by a person or an organization that is entrusted with a position of authority, in order to acquire illicit benefits or abuse power for one’s private gain. So this is an important topic to write a complete essay. Here is an essay on “Corruption” for CSS, PMS, and All Judiciary Examinations.
Essay on “Corruption”
The term corruption as conceived today lacks a universal definition and its definition differs from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The word corruption comes from the Latin verb “corrupts” meaning to break; it literally means broken object. Conceptually, corruption is a form of behavior, which departs from ethics morality, tradition, law, and civic value.
“An act was done with intent to give advantage inconsistent with official duty and the rights of others”.
“The act of an official or fiduciary person who unlawfully and wrongfully uses his status or character to procure some benefit for himself or for another person contrary to duty and the right of
Corruption involves the dishonest or preferential use of power or position which has the result of one person or organization being advantaged over another.
Improper and usually unlawful conduct intended to secure a benefit for oneself or another. Its forms include briber, extortion, and the misuse of inside information. It exists where there is community indifference or a lack of enforcement policies. In societies with a culture of ritualized gif· giving, the line between acceptable and unacceptable gifts is often hard to draw.
Graham Greene said:
“I have often noticed that a bribe has that effect — it changes a relation. The man who offers a bribe gives away a little of his own importance; the bribe once accepted, he becomes the inferior, like a man who has paid for a woman.”
Levels of corruption in the diﬀerent sectors indicate where corruption can be encountered. The levels are defined as follows:
- Individual Corruption: Corruption that takes place primarily in relations between individual citizens and public officials and authorities.
- Business Corruption: Corruption that takes place primarily in relations between enterprises/companies and public officials and authorities.
- Political Corruption: Corruption that takes place in the higher echelons of public administration and on a political level.
Three major areas of political corruption are worth noting. First, bribery is clearly an example. Second, some people claim that certain government practices such as patronage, while legal, might be suspect. This definition sets a very high standard for political propriety. The conflict-of-interest definition-use of public office for personal gain, usually money-is the third aspect of political corruption.
This is an ethical issue dealing with the premise that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Corruption, therefore, is a catchall expression for illegal as well as ethically questionable behaviors. Ironically, the very nature of federalism contributed to the potential for corruption.
Since power corrupts, the challenge is to require accountability at all levels of government and to create virtuous and ethical citizens. Effects on politics, administration, and institutions Corruption poses a serious development challenge. In the political realm, it undermines democracy and good governance by flouting or even subverting formal processes.
Corruption in elections and in legislative bodies reduces accountability and distorts representation in policymaking; corruption in the judiciary compromises the rule of law and corruption in public administration results in the unfair provision of services. More generally, corruption erodes the institutional capacity of government as procedures are disregarded resources are siphoned off, and public offices are bought and sold. At the same time, corruption undermines the legitimacy of government and such democratic values trust and tolerance.
Corruption also undermines economic development by generating considerable distortions and inefficiency. In the private sector, corruption increases the cost of business through the price of illicit payments themselves, the management cost of negotiating with oﬀicials, and the risk of breach agreements or detection.
Although some claim corruption reduces costs by cutting red tape, the availability of bribes can also induce oﬀicials to contrive new rules and delays. Openly removing costly and lengthy regulations are better than covertly allowing them to be bypassed by using bribes. Where corruption inﬂates the cost of business, it also distorts the playing field, shielding firms with connections from competition and thereby sustaining inefficient firms.
Corruption also generates economic distortions in the public sector by diverting public investment into capital, projects where bribes and kickbacks are more plentiful. Officials may increase the technical complexity of public sector projects to conceal or pave way for such dealings, thus further distorting. investment. Corruption also lowers compliance with construction, environmental, or other regulations, reduces the quality of government services and infrastructure, and increases budgetary pressures on the government.
Economists argue that one of the factors behind the diﬀering economic development in Africa and Asia is that in the former, corruption has primarily taken the form of rent extraction with the resulting financial capital moved overseas rather than invested at home.
Types of Abuses
Bribery requires two participants: one to give the bribe, and one to take it. In some countries the culture of corruption ex in every aspect of public life, making it extremely difficult for individuals to stay in business without resorting to bribes. The bribe may be demanded in order for an official to do something he is already paid to do. They may also be demanded in order to bypass laws and regulations. In some developing nations up to half of the population has paid bribes during the past 12 months.
While bribery includes an intent to influence or be inﬂuenc by another for personal gain, which is often difficult to prove, graft only requires that the oﬀicial gains something of value, not part of his official pay, when doing his work. Large “gifts” qualify as grafts, and most countries have laws against them.
For example, any gift over $200 value made to the President of the United States is considered to be a gift to the Oﬀice of the Presidency and not to the President himself. The outgoing President must buy it if h wants to take it with him.) Another example of graf is a politician using his knowledge of zoning to purchase land which he knows is planned for development, before this is publicly known, and then selling it a significant profit. This is comparable to insider trading in business.
Extortion and Robbery
While bribes may be demanded in order to do something payment may also be demanded by corrupt officials who others threaten to make illegitimate use of state force in order to inﬂict harm. This is similar to extortion by organized crime groups. Illegitimate use of state force can also is used for outright armed robbery. This mostly occurs in unstable states with lacking control of the military and the police. Less open forms of corruption are preferred in more stable states.
Patronage refers to favoring supporters, for example with government employment. This may be legitimate, as when a newly elected government changes the top officials in the administration in order to effectively implement its policy. It can be seen as corruption if this means that incompetent persons, as payment for supporting the regime, are selected before more able ones.
In nondemocracies, many government oﬀicials are often selected for loyalty rather than ability. They may be almost exclusively selected from a particular group (for example, Sunni Arabs in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, the nomenklatura in the Soviet Union, or the Junkers in Imperial Germany) that support the regime in return for such favors.
Nepotism and Cronyism Favoring Relatives
This may be combined with bribery, for example demanding that a business should employ a relative of an oﬀicial controlling regulations affecting the business.
Embezzlement is the outright theft of entrusted funds. It is a misappropriation of property.
A kickback is an official’s share of misappropriated funds allocated from his or her organization to an organization involved in corrupt bidding. For example, suppose that a politician is in charge of choosing how to spend some public funds. He can give a contract to a company that isn’t the best bidder, or allocate more than they deserve.
Some argue that the following conditions are favorable for corruption:
- Lack of government transparency
- Lacking freedom of information legislation. The Indian Right to Information Act 2005 has “already engendered mass movements in the country that is bringing the lethargic, often corrupt bureaucracy to its knees and changing power equations completely.”
- Contempt for or negligence of exercising freedom of speech and freedom of the press.
- Weak accounting practices, including a lack of timely financial management.
- Lack of measurement of corruption. For example, using regular surveys of households and businesses in order to quantify the degree of perception of corruption in different parts of a nation or indifferent government institutions may increase awareness of corruption and create pressure to combat it. This will also enable an evaluation of the officials who are fighting corruption and the methods used.
- Tax havens tax their own citizens and companies but not those from other nations and refuse to disclose information necessary for foreign taxation. This enables large-scale
political corruption in foreign nations.
Lacking control over and accountability of the government
- Democracy absent or dysfunctional. See illiberal democracy.
- Lacking civic society and non-governmental organizations which monitor the government
- An individual voter may have a rational ignorance regarding politics, especially in nationwide elections, since each vote has little weight
- Weak rule of law
- Weak legal profession
- Weak judicial independence
- Lacking the protection of whistleblowers
- Lack of benchmarking is a continual detailed evaluation of pressures and comparison to others who do similar things, in the same government or other, in particular comparison to those who do the best work. The Peruvian organization Ciudadans al Dia has started to measure and compare transparency, costs, and efficiency in diﬀerent events depends in Peru. It annually ars te bet pratic which has received widespread media attention. This has created competition among government agencies in order to improve.
Opportunities and Incentives
- Large, unsupervised public investments, combined with complex or arbitrary regulations and a lack of oversight
- Sale of state-6wned property and privatization
- Poorly-paid government officials
- Long-time work in the same position may crate relationships inside and outside the government which encourage and help conceal corruption – – and favoritism. Rotating government officials to diﬀerent positions and geographic areas may help prevent this.
- Costly political campaigns, with expenses exceeding normal sources of political funding.
- Les interaction with officials reduces the opportunities for corruption. For example, using the Internet for sending in the required information, like applications and tax forms, and then
processing this with automated computer systems. This may also speed up the processing and reduce unintentional human errors.
- A windfall from exporting abundant natural resources may encourage corruption.
- Self-interested closed cliques and “old boy networks”.
- Family and clan-centered social structure. with a tradition of nepotism being acceptable.
- In societies where personal integrity is rated as less important than another characteristic (by contrast, in societies such as 18th and 19th Century England, 20th Century Japan and postwar western Germany, where society showed almost obsessive regard for “honor” and personal integrity, corruption was less frequently seen)
- Lacking literacy and education among the population
Wy fight Corruption?
Corruption is one of the more serious unethical practices that undermine public trust and confidence in Government. The public official only reclaims possible confidence by establishing a reputation of integrity. Their power should therefore be exercised with the highest possible degree of propriety and they should not only avoid impropriety but also the appearance of impropriety as they perform their roles of public service delivery.
- Corruption must be fought because of the adverse impact it has. Some of the problems associated with corruption have been identified as follows:
- corruption raises the cost of goods and services;
- it increases the· debt of a country and carries with it recurring debt-servicing costs in the future;
- it leads to lowering of standards, as sub-standard goods and services are provided and inappropriate technology is acquired;
- it results in project choices being made based more on capital (because it is more rewarding for the perpetrator of corruption) than on manpower, which would be the more useful for development;
- resources tend to be directed towards non-productive areas such as the police, the armed forces, and other organs of social control and repression as the corrupt seek to protect themselves and their ill-gotten wealth;
- Corruption erodes the observance of the principles that are the very essence of democracy such as free and fair elections, the Rule of Law, transparency, and state accountability;
- It also undermines the legitimacy of political leaders and public institutions, making the government less able to rely on the cooperation and support of the people;
- Corruption also has an adverse effect on the promotion and protection of the fundamental human rights of individuals. When leaders are corrupt they lose the confidence of the people and there is a tendency to violate certain fundamental human rights. The examples given include detention without trial of political opponents, censorship of the press to prevent the exposure of corrupt government officials, election malpractices or outright denial of the right to vote to mention but a few;
- Corruption negatively impacts the economic growth of a country. When people perceive that the social system is untrustworthy and inequitable, their incentive to engage in productive economic activities declines;
- Corruption destroys the moral fabric of society. The anchors of any society are the social values that guide all aspects of life in that society. Without the moral principles that are part of the value system corruption and other social vices abound. With the passing of conscience, social peace and stability are also destroyed;
- Corruption allows organized crime and terrorism to flourish because corrupt practices facilitate drug traﬀicking and organized crime. Corruption is associated with money laundering and illicit international money transfers, which can be used to support international terrorists.
In recent years, the government of Pakistan has been actively trying to become a more open economy in order to attract more foreign direct investment. It has tried to implement economic reforms that include privatization, liberalization, and deregulation aimed at making the economic system more investor-friendly and less bureaucratic. However, recent dramatic political events and the following instability and violence are hampering Pakistan’s attempts to develop investor confidence and attract investments.
As corruption is omnipresent in Pakistan business is also seriously impeded by it. Operating and conducting business in Pakistan can be cumbersome and slow aﬀair although the government has taken measures towards creating a more efficient business environment. It is not only in meetings with public officials that companies are confronted with bribes and other unsavory practices. The business sector is also part of the problem. That corruption is an impediment fr conducting business is further substantiated by the fact that 40% of companies in Pakistan state that corruption is one of their major concerns.
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