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eJournal USA: Partnerships Against Corruption

25 May 2012
Overhead view of people sitting at round table (Courtesy of CIPE)

A 2010 anti-corruption conference in Moscow organized by the Center for International Private Enterprise

God looks at the clean hands, not the full ones.
Publilius Syrus, First Century, B.C.

Corruption is a problem that has beset public and private institutions — and hindered economic and social advancement — since ancient times.

It is now a well established principle that governments cannot fight corruption alone. The private sector and civil society must be actively engaged in shining a light on graft and stopping corrupt practices. National and local governments have been working with business and civil society to ensure that public procurements are conducted in a transparent and honest manner. Many governments are also partnering with business and nongovernmental groups to enhance transparency in industries prone to corruption. These initiatives have led to more efficient and effective use of public funds.

Private citizens and organizations can serve not only as watchdogs for government action, but they can also play a vital role in promoting integrity within their own spheres of influence. This principle has been enshrined in the U.N. Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), the nearly universal — ratified by 158 countries and the European Union — and most comprehensive international anti-corruption treaty. Broad coverage of preventive and punitive measures, provisions on international cooperation and the return of the proceeds of corruption and a mechanism to monitor the implementation of the treaty make it a potent weapon against national and transnational corruption.

This issue of eJournal USA — “Partnerships Against Corruption” — provides a range of perspectives on the benefits and challenges of public-private partnerships and international cooperation in combating corruption. It also offers concrete examples of how such partnerships are being used effectively. We hope this publication will generate discussions, ideas and action aimed at broadening the range of opportunities for collaboration in tackling corruption.

The Editors

Partners for Clean Business
John D. Sullivan
The private sector — as both a perpetrator and victim of corruption — must be a part of any effective anti-corruption strategy.

Transnational Crime: Challenge for All
Louise Shelley
The media, civil society and the business community must join the fight against the scourge of organized crime and corruption.

Networks Against Networks
Narcoterrorism and other cross-border crimes are tackled most effectively through international cooperation.

No Place for Stash When Crime Fighters Cooperate
Christopher Connell
Law enforcement, civil attorneys and nongovernmental groups often help each other to recover the proceeds of corruption.

Anti-corruption Partners Get Things Done
Andrzej Zwaniecki
NGOs and government reformers can achieve powerful results.

The Power of Businesses’ Collective Action
Lisa Armstrong
Companies join forces to level the playing field and stamp out corruption.

Reporters Band Together, or Not, to Uncover Corruption
Andrzej Zwaniecki
Journalists can find allies among many groups. But they need to be free to pursue truth.

When Corruption Meets Justice
National law enforcement agencies succeed most often when they cooperate.

Additional Resources