Friday, April 08, 2005

Political Corruption Resources

Canada has been rocked by recent devastating testimony at the Gomery Commission hearings about alleged corruption in the administration of federal government advertising/sponsorship budgets.

Many resources exist out there to track the phenomenon of political corruption on the international scale. Among some of the more prominent are:

Transparency International is a global NGO tracking corrupt practices worldwide.

It publishes an annual Global Corruption Report. It also makes available its CORIS database of corruption resources, including those on political corruption. It usually reports on places like Colombia or Turkmenistan. This week, Canada figures prominently in its news section. CORIS is a specialist portal which provides a single point of access to detailed information, research and news about corruption worldwide. This includes access to government documents; international laws, directives and legal conventions; research papers; studies produced by non-governmental organisations and news and media stories.

Project on Government Oversight. US-based organisation which campaigns to expose corruption and mismanagement of public funds in the USA, to promote the protection of whistle blowers, and to document political donations and campaign funding and political ethics.

Center for Public Integrity - Washington-based investigative research foundation, best known for its The Buying of the President 2004, which focuses on the relationships between major US presidential candidates and their donors. This week, it launched a new Lobby Watch.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has resources on public sector corruption in the Western industrialized countries: these include conference reports, country reports, and other resources.

Major political corruption scandals in the West:

Mani pulite (Clean Hands) - Italy: indictments of many prominent politicians from Left and Right, industrialists and judges on charges of corruption, many committed suicide in jail

Flick and Kohl Affairs - Germany: political money-laundering involving Chancellor Helmut Kohl and other high officials from many parties

FILESA affair - Spain: illegal financing of the 1989 Socialist Party campaign through a consultancy firm. Payments, totaling 8.4 million dollars, were received by the FILESA group from leading domestic banks and companies in return for "consultancy reports", with subsequent payments made by the group to the Socialist party to cover its electoral expenses

Dassault-Agusta Affair - Belgium: arms manufacturers bribe Socialist politicians in exchange for fighter jet and combat helicopter contracts. It has been speculated that Andre Cools, the former deputy prime minister who was shot dead as he left his mistress's flat in Liège, was about to expose corruption in his party. Despite his murder, the affair was leaked anyway. NATO Secretary General Willy Claes, two other former ministers and a raft of senior Socialist leaders were convicted of funnelling bribe money to party coffers.

Strauss-Kahn, Juppé, Chirac, Luchaire, Dumas-Elf, Urba, Vivendi Affairs, etc. - France: too many corruption scandals to mention - they affect the Socialists, the Gaullists, the non-Gaullist right, the Communists.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:38 pm

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