Governments’ transparency between corruption vs ethical values.
Many countries are sick of the sly corruptive systems. The diagnosis is indisputable. The controversy is given regarding the treatment: what to do before a infection that spreads constantly, that knows no limits, that surrounds us and threatens to habituate us to lies and suspicion. Can only resignation? exists an ethical response proportionate to the magnitude of the problem? Corruption is on everyone’s lips, and we run the risk of losing ourselves in alleys rhetorical and in the empty controversy. To articulate an effective response to the problem, we must first explore the symptomatology and examine the causes of the disease.
Corruption is often compared with cancer. The metaphor is not bad: cancer it is a terrible disease in which the organism itself self-destructs. The globules targets, whose function is to defend the body from attack by external agents, transform into our enemies. The mechanisms to protect and maintain our life they turn against her. The enemy nests iis is one of ours. Therefore, Cancer patients suffer a lot. To top it off, medical treatments often eliminate healthy elements together with those affected: a malignant tumor is fought and they damage healthy organs. Such aggressive therapies are not always effective, and the patient go dead.
Analogously, corruption uses the same organs of society to destroy it: the anti-kidnapping police kidnap, the justice judge protects the offender. Corruption is the degeneration of social and political structures, as the leukemia of white blood cells.
When we hear about corruption, we immediately think of the government. Serious error: corruption also infest private spheres. The corruption of the employer, the academic, the lawyer, favors the processes of public corruption. Individuals accelerate the destruction of the rule of law. Think of the harm that a teacher or a Attorney does receiving bribes. Its radius of negative influence is very broad and, above everything has an echo and resonance.
The corruption ?? public or private ?? is characterized by the perverse transformation of a
agent. We are witnessing a degeneration in every way: who should be our ally
becomes our enemy, taking advantage of the mechanisms and faculties that were
granted to fulfill its function. The public servant gets corrupted when he uses in his
I profit the taxes. Instead of building a road or a hospital, buy a house
of beach or change of car. The doctor gets corrupted when he removes an appendix to pay
the mortgage on the house, even if the patient does not suffer appendicitis. Both use their
function and distort it. The public servant does not serve the common good, the doctor does not cure the
Neither the corrupt official nor the doctor are typical criminals, they are not pickpockets or
assault-banks. The perversity of the corrupt is that they are traitors, spies
undercover, real saboteurs. The role of the surgeon is to ensure the health of the
patient, and that of the judge, justice. When they are corrupted, they usurp powers. The patient is
puts in the hands of the surgeon to be healed, not to be disappointed. The citizenship has
judges to impart justice, not to protect the mafia. The corrupt take advantage of their
function for distorted purposes.
Society and individuals can hardly defend themselves against such abuses. To the pickpocket
It is relatively easy to recognize and is not part of the judicial system. The pickpocket steals,
but it never had as mission to dictate just sentences. Instead, the judge occupies a
privileged position in the system and it is difficult to accuse it within it. The doctor
It is in a very similar case: the patient is not a health expert. It turns out very
complicated to detect and accuse a doctor, especially if we are little instructed in the
matter. The corrupt usually have the upper hand. This facilitates the dissemination of
corruption and also demands the urgency of combating it. It is a diffusive evil that tends to
get infected everywhere.
11.1.2 A disease of the system
Cancer spreads throughout the body if it is not attacked in time. Similarly, the
Corruption tends to become a disease of the system. Corruption incites
complicities. When the doctor removes a healthy appendix to pay the monthly payment of the
home, involves the nurse, the assistant, the anesthetist. The pickpocket, on the other hand, attacks
from the outside: it is an external agent. The pickpocket is like a bacterium in the body, can
be mortal, but the antibodies identify it and fight against it. This is not the case of
cancer or the corrupt judge; they are inner enemies that destroy us using
our own resources.
Corruption, like cancer, works by metastasis (that is, it expands to others
organs). If the purchasing manager is corrupt, so will the suppliers and from there
onwards. When the control mechanisms are too vulnerable, the system
It is unprotected. Evil is transmitted from cell to cell, from department to
Corruption is not exclusive to individuals but is related to the structures of
the public administration ?? procedures, requirements, etc. ??? designed to favor the
11.1.3 The complicity between public and private corruption
As it was said, corruption does not exclusively affect the official sector. The case of the surgeon
He is eloquent. Corruption splashes private initiative. The corruption of an official
The public usually requires a private counterpart. The policeman who demands a ?? gratification?
has a motorist as an accomplice. The dishonest tender has a
businessman on the other side of the table. Let’s take this to higher levels and we will come across
with unpleasant surprises. For example, it is well known that many companies
transnational and ?? respectable? businessmen of the northern hemisphere, have been
active accomplices of corruption in Africa and Latin America.
It is not about distributing blame to exempt the authorities, but about making us aware of
that corruption is a systemic disease. It involves a whole network of complicities,
the more serious the wider the mesh. To deny such a dimension is to ignore the
nature of evil.
Corruption requires points of support in various sectors of society. The effectiveness ??
of corruption depends on the placement of the nails where the network is fixed. Just think
in the scope of the mafia in the United States during the prohibition of alcohol: assassins,
judges, police officers, union leaders, lawyers, taxi drivers, accountants, politicians. The tissue of
corruption relations of Al Capone covered all sectors of society
North American. It was difficult to touch Capone without involving others. The lukewarmness of actions
against him was explicable: many could be hurt.
By its own dynamics, corruption tends to become a way of life. The
corrupt practices gradually replace the rule of law, which we have already
spoken in chapters eight and nine. Corruption generates a kind of new pact
Social??. In this pseudo-covenant the rule is not the reason nor the life achieved, but the complicity.
Corruption excludes the great majority to benefit exclusively those who enter
to the network of complicities. The cheating surgeon distributes benefits to his relatives, but
excludes its patients, when the latter should be the beneficiaries (of the action
correct of the surgeon).
The corrupt society is not a path for personal self-realization or for coexistence
rational. The abolition of the rule of law brings us back to barbarism. Everything is at
arbitration of the powerful. The law stops being the rule and becomes a masquerade. He
The social pact is reduced to the pact of a small group, from which the community is excluded.
11.2 Origin of a pathology
Determining the origin of a disease helps its cure, because it does not receive the same
treatment a stomach pain caused by cholera that by the Ebola virus.
By determining the causes of the condition, we can prevent its spread and spread. Explain the
The origin of corruption is not enough to combat it, but it helps to design strategies for
combat. We will now consider some possible causes of this evil.
11.2.1. The culturalist explanation
The peoples have a cultural identity conformed by certain values, customs,
traditions, institutions. The history and the environment of the towns explains grosso modo
The identity of the peoples, however, is not something fixed or immutable. It’s just a
behavior pattern. National identities are dynamic and have to do with
generalized attitudes and beliefs. Therefore, its explanatory value is relative. As the
National identity is not analysable in a laboratory, we can not blame everything on it. He
way of being of a people is intangible and manifests itself in character traits, institutions
and ancestral customs.
As well as some human groups have a? Certain air of family? the Martinez usually
be cheerful; los González, athletes, the same happens with some towns. The order of the
Germans, the industriousness of the Japanese, the joy of the Italians, are references
Mexicans often joke with some features of our identity. HE
It deals, of course, with generalizations, some of them very questionable. But some
indicators point to that, along with great virtues and values, Mexicans are
prone to certain disorder and inconsistency. This does not fully explain the corruption in
our country, nor exempt those responsible. If respect for the law is not part of the
Mexican identity, because you have to change it. Not because an attitude is “traditional”, it is
correct It is absurd to hide behind our supposed identity? to justify our
little respect for legality and order.
All in all, reflecting on some features of our identity sheds some light on
our current problems.
Our country is relatively young. Let us compare with the nations of old Europe:
The University of Paris was founded before Columbus came to these lands! AND
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insurgent movement began in 1810. We have less than two centuries of life
Independent. Our experience in democracy is small: a few years.
Consequently, the law has been seen more as an external imposition than as the fruit of
a rational and consensual analysis. We tend to see the law as an external norm imposed
by authority, not as an expression of human rationality. We do not think of it as
instrument to exercise our rights, but as a hindrance to our freedom.
In the republican life, the law is a condition of possibility of the common good. Through the
law is achieved justice at its most elementary levels and without it without the law the
justice is reduced to a random event. In democracy, the law does not express the
will of the king, but of the people.
Our little appreciation for the law can be explained in many ways. One of them refers
precisely to our short experience in democratic traditions. We still associate the
law with mere imposition. And we forget its rational aspect: we do not think of the law as
instrument for the common good. The great essayist Alfonso Reyes wrote in his booklet
moral: The very form of the State, the constitution, which is the law of all other laws,
it is considered as an emanation of the will of the people in the democratic doctrine ?? The
absence of republican experience leads us, neither more nor less, to understand the law as the
expression of the will of others. We conceive it as an instance foreign to our
interest and, therefore, as something that we must subvert or jump.
In Mexico’s recent history corruption appears recurrently. Is a
reminder of the weakness of our legal system, a tangible sample of our
little respect for the law. For decades we lived immersed in an unwritten pact where the
The people tolerated robberies of their rulers and forgave their corruptions. In return, the
Government allowed us to pass traffic lights in red, throw trash in the street, buy ??
official documents and purchase contraband merchandise.
Into the bowels of this covenant was imbued a deep contempt for the law, the forms and
the order. We Mexicans have become accustomed to corruption. We forget that, long
term, the bank robbers and the kidnapper do less harm than the government official
cynically enriched in public administration. We do not invite the first ones to
our house; We court the corrupt official. The damage inflicted by the hijacker
it is immediate and notorious; that of the corrupt, mediate and unnoticed official. But at
long, the official causes a terrible evil. To top it off, experience shows that, late
or early, they are both: the path of traditional crime ?? it’s found
with that of corruption. The corrupt policeman ends up protecting the kidnapper.
Let’s not think of scandalous cases. Let’s examine our indulgence towards corruption,
our daily contempt for the law. We try to make our children “little friends” ?? of the
son of the thief ?? of the colony ?? for security ?? We are pleased to see that our
children frequent the home of the high official whose reputation as a public servant is
flimsy. The result is macabre: according to one of the most recent surveys of
Transparency International 3 out of 4 Mexicans do not consider corruption as a
serious problem. Moreover, 1 in 3 considers it normal, and not a problem to which
should attack (Periodic Reform, June 2001). Disregard traffic signals
considers a sign of maturity and renown. Important people disobey the laws. Such
Is our ?? popular culture ?? We seek privileges and privileges.
We were born in a society with a very low tolerance floor for crimes related to
the corruption. They the corrupt ones ?? are seen as powerful, opulent, high types
The law is for the poor, for the peons. We are facing the antithesis of life
citizen Certainly, Mexican society has experienced profound
transformations in recent years. Above all, young people have promoted such
changes However, cultural inertias persist that delay the transformation. Such
Resistance is rooted in the culture of the Mexican. They have to do with your relationship in front
to the authorities, in front of the law. We are paying for our lack of experience
democratic, although we can not make democracy a panacea either. A regime
Democratic is not necessarily honest. Remember the England of the eighteenth and
XIX, and the United States in the time of the gangsters. Conversely, the regimes
authoritarian are not necessarily corrupt, as happened in the areas occupied by the
Nazi Germany or in Chile under the Pinochet regime.
11.2.2 The excess of controls in the institutions
In organizations and institutions, the excess of controls is associated with the
corruption. Excessive controls underlining is very important generate
bureaucracy in the short term and, in the long run, encourage corruption.
Mistrust and what else controls are produces distrust. his
Institutionalization does not encourage ethical attitudes. In addition, the abundance of controls
It hinders efficiency. Water seeks the shortest path. And when the crowd of
controls recurrently retard management, processes seek the shortest path.
Leading a family, leading an organization or governing a country is not synonymous with
control. The machines are controlled, people are directed. Honesty and
Civility is not promoted by unilaterally removing the power of decision from the actors. Y
this is true for children, employees and citizens. An official with no more power than that of
stamp, can be corrupt, and an official with broad decision-making power
can be honored Perfect the structures, of course, but first of all
let’s perfect the personal styles of life. In open ark, even the most just sins ??:
without a doubt, but the abundance of padlocks in a chest prevents the treasure from being used
when it should be used
Excessive bureaucracy, overwhelming controls, complicated rules, are usually established
often to avoid more or less than acts of corruption. Regrettably
its effect is often counterproductive. This phenomenon occurs both in the sector
official as in the private one. Agility is a quality of institutions. Do not go to
happen to us like the Titanic, that could not turn aside its course to avoid the collision with the
iceberg. More would have been worth a light helmet that would have allowed the captain
Overinvesting an anti-corruption institution can make it extremely
vulnerable. There is a directly proportional relationship between corruption and complexity
of procedures. No doubt those who design these measures intend to fight corruption,
but their means turn against themselves. And this applies to countries, companies,
universities and other human groups. Organizations and systems excessively
regulated are breeding grounds of tricks to streamline processes, immediate antecedent
of corruption. At other times all these procedures are creator to produce more
corruption. In any case, administrative simplification is a value.
Are padlocks and controls nil? They are not necessary. We need the law. Formalities,
controls, regulations, procedures manuals, are indispensable in life.
All human institutions require them: from the family to the
global organizations. The problem arises when complexity delays the
normal development of individuals. When the armor sinks the ship, we are facing
a problem. But that does not mean that we should dismantle the controls and shields.
Moderate them, even if moderating does not always mean denying; sometimes it means to increase.
11.2.3 The selfish convenience and the profit motive.
In the human being two impulses coexist: the tendency to community life and the
inclination to individualism. Both are very strong. Family relationships, the
Friendship and cases of heroism partially belie the aphorism ?? The man is a wolf
of the man ?? In history there are many cases of surrender, sacrifice for others and
solidarity. Life is not pure collection of iniquities and betrayals. However, the
Selfishness, ultimately, individualism, arises spontaneously in the human being.
Frequently, our particular interests conflict with those of the
community. There is no reason to be afraid of the appearance of such oppositions. The important is
resolve conflicts in a reasonable, civilized, civic way.
Civic ethics tries to resolve this conflict, harmonizing both tendencies through the
state of law, socially accepted values and personal virtues.
In practice, the profit motive necessary for the dynamics of society can
adopt forms that attempt against justice and social order. This eagerness is necessary in the
dynamics of society. It would be naive and unfair to try to solve corruption
inhibiting the desire for gain. Corruption originates when we disconnect the
individual interests of the legal framework, when they prevail unfairly over those of
community. The profit motive does not cause corruption. The problem is an eagerness
messy, insensitive to the law. The corrupt does not generate profits through effort
personal and the market. On the contrary, ?? kidnaps ?? public property and sells it in
private profit. Corruption is misguided profit: it sells what is not
You have the right to sell, you are charged for what you should not be charged. The corrupt guy is, in the
background, a failed businessman. No arrests or capabilities to compete in the
market, takes refuge in a protected niche ?? The surgeon who charges for operations that do not
He must have done; the lawyer who sells to his client; the policeman who receives ?? gratifications ??
to not apply a fine; the deputy to salary ?? Of a company. Ultimately, the
corruption of the public official starts from a patrimonial attitude toward the thing
public. It is a perverted profit motive. In some countries, high positions are
bought ?? through high sums paid to the highest officials. The money
invested in that purchase is subsequently recovered with salaries and other business
associated to the position. But this is only the most radical and most limited way of accessing
a position that requires a large fortune and high level contacts to be able to do the
approach More common is the case of the intermediate official who uses the position to
obtain additional income in exchange for contracts. The way of operating of these
officials is not stealing much or little but doing it with the system. That way it
ensures, a permanent income of resources and sooner or later, a business is achieved
important??. The fearsome is the patrimonial culture of the official.
Ultimately, behind any corruption network however sophisticated it may be
we end up running into the will of the concrete individual who has decided to infringe the
law. We all have a certain inclination to use the ring of Giges to serve our
personal interests passing over the law, but one issue is to feel the inclination and
another follow it
11.2.4 Excess of discretion and lack of accountability1
Corruption is not only an ethical problem. Its consequences harm a country, what
impoverish and destroy. Yes, selfishness and individual convenience without law originate the
corruption, but also weak structures and procedures propitiate it. Already
We indicate how excessive controls generate perverse effects. But we can not either
leave the direction of organizations and institutions to the pure discretion of the people,
very honest and capable that they may seem to us. This applies, especially in the field of
the public. Management must be evaluated, otherwise inefficiencies sprout first, and
Let’s start with a case. In many countries, large items of the national budget are
they invest in sterile projects. These white elephants? they do not generate benefits and only
they carry higher costs. If the efficiency of such investments is not monitored, the
taxpayers’ money. But there is something else: the germs of the
corruption. If I am not obliged to give an account, sooner or later I will finish
appropriating that heritage.
Actually, the problem of efficient allocation is simple. Because it is not
clearly defined ownership of public resources, government agents lack
of the right incentives to allocate them efficiently. Monitoring is scarce and
expensive. In addition, accountability is usually not sufficiently specified. Is
say, the agent lacks the obligation to maximize the profits resulting from the
assignment. It is not evaluated by the results of the “investments”. Its continuity in the
position depends on other factors, unrelated to the efficiency of the allocation of resources.
Then, it does not satisfactorily fulfill its obligations.
This is an especially serious matter in the public domain. After all, the
The vocation of the private sector is to maximize profits. The performance of employees of
This sector is constantly evaluated according to the profitability of its decisions. The
private initiative has internally acceptable mechanisms to monitor its
performance. Unfortunately, in Public Administration the possibilities are much more
Lack of incentives and inadequate monitoring explain why corruption makes special
dent in the public sector. The public can hardly supervise the performance of
the public servants. In contrast, in the private sector, the voice of investors and
customers is heard with greater echo and promptness. This monitoring reduces the perversion ?? from
the private systems. The private employee who repeatedly mistreats the clientele
he runs the risk of being fired because inefficient. The employee of the public sector
He can hardly be thrown out of office because he treats citizens badly. The paradoxical
is that the latter is obliged to assist us. The owner of a restaurant has the right to
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decide if you sell us a banquet. The public servant does not have this possibility: it is his
obligation. Let’s say it in a more crude way: when an employee
The government is late for his work, he is robbing us, the citizens, the
taxpayers The government is ?? my government ??
The difficulty is obvious. We are something important: we are citizens. The republic
integrates citizens, is res public: it belongs to all. The public servant that is
inefficient steals us, privatizes for its own benefit what is public.
11.3 The remedies for a disease
We have already suggested some ?? medicines? for corruption. It must be clear, of course,
that in the case of a serious illness, the treatment is not simple. Bring rigged
efforts and pains. The cure requires patience, perseverance and, above all, a change of
Corruption is also a problem of asymmetric information, that is, agents
governments have access to privileged information, which are not available to
governed. Taking advantage of this distortion, some public agents ?? act in benefit
own and to the detriment of the country. After all, monitoring is expensive and complicated.
Decision-making is in your hands, since citizenship can do little if it lacks
of the relevant information. The citizens hardly know the reasons that lead
to the agent to make his decisions. Therefore, it is not susceptible of a fair evaluation. The
lack of information can lead us to demand more of what could be given or less than what
should. One tool to avoid this is the New Federal Law of Transparency and
Access to public information.
In authoritarian regimes, evaluation is practically impossible. The cacique, the
caudillo, the monarch does not give accounts of their actions or explain the reasons why
they act in a certain way. The subjects lack the right to information,
because the government is not considered a public issue. Fortunately, democracy
reduces the ?? opacity ??, that is, promotes transparency. Democratic governments
reduce the obstacles to access information of public interest. Ultimately, the
Government management concerns everyone. In this way, at the heart of the proposal
democratic is the government’s duty to be accountable. Public officials do not
Are they monarchs that can be stored in their real chest? the reasons to act in a
Modern societies are characterized by citizen participation in all spheres
of government, and a prerequisite for participation is information. Also, in the
As such participation is better informed, monitoring is more efficient and
less expensive A virtuous circle is thus generated: citizen participation – transparency –
Defeat of corruption.
11.3.1 Transparency and access to information2
The term ?? transparency ?? It is ambiguous. It’s one of those magic words that the
Contemporary society aims to solve any problem. Transparency
political, economic, computer, etc. it is a property of the systems. The
Transparency is useful when it allows us to act on the system. That’s why we say know
it is power: knowing it allows us to modify its variables. Of little use is access to
information, if we can not use it to control that system.
Transparency is not in itself a positive or negative quality. If the security system
of a bank is transparent, it is a deficiency. If the system of assigning a
academic award is transparent, we are facing a positive quality. It does not always turn out
easy to determine if transparency is desirable. In public affairs, however, the
bet is for citizenship, for taxpayers. Democracies demand transparency,
otherwise the government ceases to be public and becomes a matter more or less
We insist The usefulness of information transparency is its ability to model a
system. We will be provocative: it is useless to know the salary of the President of the
Republic or the Ministers of the Supreme Court if that information does not help us
correct defects and avoid unwanted effects. It is useless to know the mechanisms
of a tender for public lighting if those data do not allow us to avoid adjudications
The control, the direction, the fight against corruption is not a mere question of access to
information. The ability to interact with the system is indispensable. It turns idle
know that Popocatépetl is an active volcano, if I lack the skills to evacuate
zone and modify the patterns of urban settlement in their skirts. The important thing of the
Transparency is that it allows me to modify the incorrect behavior patterns.
For these reasons, transparency must be:
Easy to interpret
The first condition is obvious. Who has visited a public archive or a newspaper archive
knows that in many Latin American countries, information is scattered,
deteriorated, restricted in schedules and poorly classified. Add to that the waiting times,
at the counter or on the internet, the same goes. Information that is not at hand ?? has
little courage in the fight against corruption.
The second condition, legally accessible, is interesting. In Latin America it is
frequent lack of physical access to the information to which they are legally entitled and
vice versa. Sometimes you have physical access to classified information. Just think of the
amount of information filtered in newspapers. Illegally obtained information does not
it is an optimal instrument to correct corruption. Fight corruption with acts of
Corruption is, at least, a paradox.
The third condition, the opportunity, is elementary: it is useless to know that smoking causes
lung cancer when smoking for 50 years. It is little useful to know that an employee
He disappointed us, when he fled to another country. The information must be timely, from what
otherwise, it does not interact with the system.
Finally, the fourth condition: easy to interpret. Many times it is not the lack of
information the obstacle, but the excess of interpretations. The problem is the abundance
of interpretations. In this sense, graphs, averages and executive summaries are
as necessary as dangerous. It comes to mind that we can drown in a
lake whose average depth is five centimeters … because we had bad luck
to fall into the only part that was 10 meters deep.
To easily interpret the information, criteria and standards of
comparison. Otherwise, we can not judge or draw objective conclusions. By
example, it is superfluous to know the cost of a public work, if I do not know the prices of
market. The results are not enough, it is also necessary to have the parameters.
The ultimate recipients of government ?? citizens? they need the information
relevant to evaluate, direct and correct the management of Public Administration. The
Transparency of the system facilitates the moderation of the agents. On the contrary, the
opacity of the system is a black box from which a rabbit or a wolf can come out.
Recall the scandals of Enron and Worldcom in the United States in 2002. Lack of
transparency. The information was restricted, manipulated, hidden and, finally,
falsified This involved employees, managers, privileged shareholders and
External auditors. The result: small pensioners ?? they were, in
proportional terms, the most affected. And when the bomb exploded nothing could be
do. The information was not timely.
The complexity of Public Administration is greater than that of any company
Private and ?? It is substantially different. The State is not a company. Do not
However, in one thing they do coincide: the convenience of keeping informed those who
concerns In the case of the State, all citizens are involved in its management:
the republic belongs to everyone. Ultimately, transparency discourages corruption and
It encourages the efficiency of the systems, and this applies to both sectors.
Who put the bell to the cat? In theory, we agree on citizen law
at the information. In practice, it is very difficult to articulate these mechanisms. And it is not
question of thinking about secret parties, reserved funds or matters of State. Let’s think
in information as elementary as the salaries and patrimonial declarations of the
public servers. Should this information be public? Where does the right to
information and the right to privacy?
In small nations, such as Switzerland or Denmark, transparency is facilitated. In those
countries, an unusually ostentatious standard of living goes unnoticed with difficulty. This
natural transparency? it does not exist in places like Mexico, where the size of the economy
dissimulates illicit enrichment.
Therefore, it is urgent to articulate mechanisms to turn transparency into a modus operandi
habitual of the Public Administration. Every system, like every organism, is prone to
to get sick. Hence the convenience of promoting access to information from the same
system. It is about generating an immunological mechanism against infections. Is about
prevent the social organism from getting sick thanks to the strength of its antibodies. The
Contrary to antibiotics ?? they are a remedy, an emergency measure, not a
normal and healthy situation.
From the point of view of civic ethics, transparency as a remedy against
Corruption is a very interesting weapon. On the one hand, citizens have the right and
the obligation to demand reasonably transparent mechanisms in public management.
On the other, the authorities also have the right and the obligation to demand
transparency in some aspects of our life. An example? The declaration of
taxes. It is foolish to seek transparency in Public Administration, if
We evaded taxes.
Transparency is not a magic and miraculous wand. It is a simple tool. As
such, it presupposes agents capable of using it correctly. And use it correctly ??
implies individuals with virtues and values, not mere opportunists, demagogues and rhetoricians
of the word ?? transparency ??
Citizens have the right and duty to monitor the activities of the administration
public. It is a matter of civic ethics. We always return to the person: we need
women and men of character, determined to exercise their right to information, to the
supervision of the Public Administration. This is the heart of the republican spirit and
democratic: to live as citizens.
Ultimately, transparency is an attitude that is heir to truthfulness. Respect for
the truth is a precondition to the transparency of the system. The truth is a value. Yes
citizens are not convinced of this, in vain we strive for a culture of
Now we have the new Federal Law on Transparency and Access to Information
The citizen is rational. If the government allows corruption to be established
more agile and economic rules to obtain a public service, then shore to
individual to act rationally. Thus the public service is granted in first and second
class, according to what the citizen is willing to pay. A few people are satisfied
pay a gift that, in practice, is an additional tax. If to the users of the
public services will be asked if such gifts are voluntary, very few
they would answer affirmatively. Often they do it out of necessity. The reprisals of the
Bureaucracy can be terrible. That is why, in a matter of procedures, it is rarely mentioned
time it takes a management. Therefore, one way to make the procedures more transparent has been to
to reduce the requirements and clearly indicate the duration of the procedure so that everyone
take precautions. Even so, there will always be emergencies and they should be rated appropriately
to avoid bribery.
The unnecessary complication of procedures is an incentive to shorten paths to
through corruption. In subsection 11.2.2 we already indicated how the excess of shielding against
Corruption can be counterproductive. Simplification is a way to combat it and
Somehow we already talked about the cure when it comes to explaining the origin of evil. Now
we will only limit ourselves to highlighting two points:
1) By definition, organizations require procedures and procedures. The
bureaucracies have played a very important role in shaping the large
empires There’s the case of Rome and China, built on a broad and powerful
bureaucracy. In other words, the dynamics of human action generate processes and
regulations. Disregarding them indiscriminately amounts to preventing
institutionalization of the regime. Simplify: yes, but not at any cost. If we reduce the
Thickness of the ship’s hull immoderately, the ship will sink with any storm.
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2) Simplifying processes requires restructuring minds and attitudes. Is about
look for simplicity, not act naively. But the search for simplification
administrative goes hand in hand with the vote of confidence. Plain, direct processes
presuppose our recognition of agents, the status of rational actors and
ethical Simplifying means trusting others and distrusting procedures
as panaceas. Simplifying assumes that we have chosen our collaborators
according to their values and moral virtues and not exclusively according to their
Laws educate because they enunciate a framework of values. They become a point of
reference to discern grossly what is lawful of what is not. The penalties have a
deterrent value and become negative feedback. They are a mechanism
defensive society of no little use. The possible transgressor contemplates the penalty and
reconsider his action. The punishment is intended to prevent the repetition of the act and, insofar as
possible, recover what was snatched.
Society could not function without a penal system. The human condition is not that of
angelic spirits, free of antisocial inclinations and tendencies. The punitive system
it helps to reinforce rational coexistence. The punishment system is inevitable. By
Of course, it is best not to make it the core of the social fabric. Human coexistence does not
can focus exclusively on punishments. The penal system must not become
a tool to amend the omissions in the education of values and prevention
of the crimes. Coexistence is not based on criminal law, but based on the
desire to coexist rationally.
The repression of crime, corruption between them is a corrective action and, therefore,
It is late.3 It is better to educate and prevent.
However, in the fight against corruption the temptation to bet everything on the system
punitive is great. The corrective actions seem the most eloquent, a clear sign of
a willingness to face problems. It is understandable that great expectations
in such action. Imprison corrupt personalities of private initiative and government
It has a sobering and corrective value. Such actions increase the popularity of
who undertake them Citizens, after all, look with sympathy at the punishment of
who have fleeced it And this image is crucial in democracies, because it is the
popular will that legitimizes such authorities.
The problem arises when, looking for the popularity generated by the punishments,
loses sight of the importance of prevention. A very subtle way to fall into this
defect is to focus on increasing sanctions, punishing more. The risk of this
strategy is to ignore the overall vision. The scheme of emphasis on the punitive
increases the sanction in years of jail or in money to deter more strongly the
possible transgressors. It is not enough to increase the penalty, you should also increase the
probability of the application. This supposes our confidence in the judicial system. In
other words, to increase the likelihood of application of penalties against
corruption, before you have to ensure the moral integrity of the judicial system. We face a
vicious circle, because you can not fight corruption with a corrupt tool.
In addition, applying the penalties is also a difficult cost to quantify: from the
investigation up to the penitentiary system. The inmates are an economic burden for the
citizens, let’s not forget it. Finally, the strategy of increasing costs for
debug players corruption as a game of chance assumes behavior
rational of players. That is, the authority increases the punishments to encourage the exit
of the players. It is assumed that players will withdraw from the corruption business
as the profit margin decreases. This assumption is questionable. Just think
in the death penalty: this does not reduce the crime rate. The players and
criminals are not women or businessmen who weigh the profitability of a
company. The player and the criminal are passionate about risk and danger. This variable
it violates the deterrent power of punishment. Many corrupt people follow the logic of the player
We do not want to say, by far, that deterrence is too much. It is an essential part of the laws.
It is not a matter of abolishing the punitive system; it’s about not focusing unilaterally on him.
Yes, we want to point out that civic ethics the pursuit of life achieved is not identified
with the positive laws. Ethics is something more than a set of crimes typified by its
corresponding punishments. The law and the punishment system are useless without a minimum
Of goodwill. This is our point.
11.4 The irreplaceable role of the individual
Personal responsibility is at the heart of corruption issues. The
Corruption involves a personal decision; the more we corrupt, the more we tarnish
our freedom. Circumstances may mitigate this responsibility but, in the end and
out, the corrupt individual freely decides to remain in an illicit game. Person
honest opts for integrity, because it takes into account a host of considerations that go
from ethical convictions to the weighing of penalties and punishments.
Systems refer to individuals. These are responsible for their actions, even when
They seek to hide behind impersonal structures and mechanisms of power. The
The person is the cause and the purpose of the systems, it is the operator that sets them in motion. TO
Sometimes, the systems overwhelm the individual who opposes them, but this possibility does not
exempts from responsibility.
Only when we lose freedom do we lose responsibility.
Sometimes responsibility demands acts of heroism. It is always easier to fit in
Inhuman and irrational system. The Auschwitz jailers obeyed orders when
They slaughtered children, the sick and the elderly. Some tried to apologize for the
atrocities committed adducing the coercion of the system. Perhaps under that pretext they evaded
the sentences in Nuremberg. But in no case did they act as complete persons and
reasonable. History condemns them. You can not kill the innocent to escape the
jail or a punishment. His victims did not see puppets of a system in their executioners.
They saw soulless individuals, capable of assassinating the innocent so as not to compromise their
Behind the systems lives the individual who adheres passively to them or who, by
Otherwise, try to modify them. The system is for the person and not the person for the
system. This freedom has a cost and some are not willing to pay it, prefer
renounce their freedom and take refuge in the inertia of a decadent and uncivilized culture. Yes
Corruption is an endemic disease, a disease of the system. Secular customs and vices
we are led to it, right. That has been the apology of the genocides: the system … ??
Transparency, simplification and dissuasion are very powerful weapons in the fight
against corruption, but they are not enough. It is necessary to improve the quality of organizations
to end corruption. Each procedure is associated with a tax and a time.
As long as there are individuals with objective possibilities of being corrupted, then we must
think that it is going to corrupt. The ideal is to develop a bureaucracy that allows the
society develop freely, without suffocating it. Effective government action is the best
complement of a citizen ethics. Just paying attention to the two clamps of the
public honesty, government and citizens – the
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