Anti-Corruption Mindset Wanted

03 February 2017

On January 24 MIM-Kyiv community welcomed Mr. Jean-Pierre Méan, ex-president of the Transparency International and attorney at law for MCE Attorneys and a well-known anti-corruption expert. He delivered his presentation on corruption problems in public and private sectors and discussed why and how it should be fight against.

Mr. Méan’s speech was abundant in the examples from his experience, often rather notorious. “I have known about corruption since I was very young,” said he. “I was lucky to work for a company which had started anti-corruption activities long before it became a mainstream. However, my turning point was when I joined the company which got into corruption scandal. As a result we had to change our practices radically on one hand and to persuade regulators and general public that we had changed our ways.”

First of all Mr. Méan explained why the corruption is so bad. According to Mr. Méan 7 the corruption:
• Is an obstacle to growth
• Deprives the citizens of public services
• Falsifies the resource allocations
• Impacts the quality of goods and services
• Supports criminal activities
• Undermines democracy
• Destroys trust.

Secondly, he addressed how the corruption could be defeated. He mentioned that many countries have anticorruption legislation and very few where that legislation works. E.g. United Nations Convention against Corruption was signed back in 2003, it has more than 140 signatories and only 4 countries which has current anti-corruption legislation. Most of the countries have laws but do not have implementation mechanisms. The best way to fight against corruption is to change attitudes through long-term information campaign. People should be aware of the negative aspects of corruption, its channels, and initiatives taken by other countries. Moreover, no corrupt official should be unmasked. And civil society should play a leading role in anti-corruption efforts. Mr. Méan paid special attention to the fact that his career proved that it did not take forever to change attitudes. He stressed that perception of the corruption and practices fighting it changed dramatically since he started his career.

Private sector also needs to take anti-corruption efforts. Such companies as Siemens, Enron, etc. can tell a lot about consequences of neglecting corrupt practices. To cope with the problem in private sector ISO developed special standards. In fact, ISO37001 is a very practical guideline in implementing in-company anticorruption by-laws.

Q&A session closed the event. It turned out into a discussion on the most expedient ways to make the civil society active and to implement the best practices into life here in Ukraine.