Resources: Corruption

Corruption takes many different forms, from the routine cases of bribery or petty abuse of power to the amassing of spectacular personal wealth through embezzlement or other dishonest means. Bribery enables multinationals to gain contracts (particularly for public works and military equipment) or concessions that they would not otherwise have won, or to do so on more favourable terms.

Results 101 - @to of 115
A Legal Opinion
Lord Lester and Ben Jaffey

16 May 2005

This Legal Opinion examines the legal powers of the UK's export credit agency, the Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD), to blacklist companies involved in bribery and corruption. It argues that ECGD would be perfectly entitled to have a firm policy of refusing to provide financial support to companies that have previously engaged in bribery or corruption, provided that it also considered the exceptional circumstances of any particular case on its merits.

Dr Susan Hawley

30 March 2005

In March 2005, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) published an extensive review of how the UK is implementing the OECD's Anti-Bribery Convention. This document analyses the review's main findings.

Memorandum from The Corner House
Dr Susan Hawley

25 February 2005

At the beginning of 2005, the UK Parliament's Trade and Industry Select Committee conducted an inquiry into the UK's Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD). During its inquiry, it interviewed the Government Minister responsible for the ECGD about the Department's watering down of its anti-bribery procedures following industry lobbying. In March 2005, the Committee published a report, Implementation of ECGD's Business Principles, that was highly critical of the changes the Department had made to its procedures. This document is The Corner House's submission to the Committee's inquiry.

The Corner House

25 January 2005

In December 2004, The Corner House began legal proceedings against the Export Credits Guarantee Department, claiming it had weakened its anti-corruption rules after consulting corporations only. It was awarded the first-ever full "protective costs order" to challenge the changed rules: The Corner House would not have to pay the Department's legal costs, even if it lost, because the challenge was in the public interest.

13 January 2005

In December 2004, The Corner House instituted legal proceedings against the UK's Secretary of State for Trade and Industry as the government minister responsible for the Export Credits Guarantee Department.

Tales From the New Mozambique
Joseph Hanlon

29 October 2004

33. Northern aid donors demand that Southern countries tackle corruption, but continue to require them to implement economic liberalisation policies that increase corruption. In Mozambique, corruption has grown to high levels because of increasing intervention by international financial institutions, such as the World Bank, and bilateral aid donors in support of liberalisation, facilitated by tacit alliances between donors and a section of the Mozambican elite.

Towards a model for excellence: A discussion paper
Dr Susan Hawley

24 June 2004

Enforcement of overseas corruption offences involving British companies and individuals under the UK's anti-corruption legislation is crucial to tackling corruption internationally. The current arrangements in the UK between various law enforcement agencies are not the most effective means of ensuring that these offences are investigated and prosecuted. A more pro-active enforcement regime could detect overseas corruption offences as and when they occur and could act on credible suspicions of bribery.

Export Credit Agencies and Corruption
Susan Hawley

15 December 2003

30. The taxpayer-backed export credit agencies of industrialised countries are underwriting the bribery and corruption of large, mainly Western, companies operating abroad.

Lessons from the New Thailand
Dr Pasuk Phongpaichit

14 December 2003

29. Corruption in Thailand has been neither pervasive nor incompatible with economic growth. It is centred on a big business-politics complex whose rise has gone hand-in-hand with globalisation.

Corruption and the UK Export Credits Guarantee Department
Dr Susan Hawley

1 June 2003

Institutional practices within the taxpayer-funded UK Export Credits Guarantee Department have exacerbated bribery and corruption by Western companies.

(Or, rather: What went Right? For Whom?)
Nicholas Hildyard

10 July 2002

In July 2000, 19 corporations and individuals were being prosecuted in the Lesotho courts for bribing a top official in the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (a scheme intended to divert water from Lesotho to South Africa). This presentation explores the daily institutional practices that actively encourage the flouting of guidelines and anti-corruption regulations. It sheds light on the institutionalised racism that assumes the Third World to be inherently corrupt and corruptible, a view that underwrites bribery.

The ECGD's recent record
Susan Hawley, The Corner House

23 May 2002

The UK Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD) has a long record of backing corrupt projects. New vetting procedures have loopholes, leaving the ECGD open to charges of complicity in corruption, contends this presentation at an NGO Seminar on Export Credit Reform held in the House of Commons, London.

Recommendations to the UK Export Credits Guarantee Agency
Kirstine Drew, UNICORN, Public Services International Research Unit

23 May 2002

The UK Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD) has a legal obligation to combat corruption. But its failure to adopt non-discretionary, transparent procedures is fundamentally flawed, argues this presentation at an NGO Seminar on Export Credit Reform held in the House of Commons, London.

Britain's Role in Promoting Corruption, Cronyism and Graft
The Corner House

10 December 2000

This Corner House submission to British House of Commons' International Development Committee's Inquiry into corruption urges the Committee to examine the structural causes of corruption in the countries of the South, such as the policies and programmes that Western governments and agencies push on these countries. It recommends that the Committee focus less on the perceived "lack of political will" to tackle corruption and more on those vested interests that generate immense political will to block investigations when they are initiated and to undermine anti-corruption drives.

Privatisation, Multinationals and Bribery
Susan Hawley

30 June 2000

19. Growing corrpution throughout the world has resulted from the rapid privatisation of public enterprises. Multinationals, supported by Western governments and their agencies, are engaging in corruption on a vast scale in North and South alike. Donor governments and multilateral agencies such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund frequently put forward ‘good governance’ agendas to combat corruption, but their other actions send different signals about where their priorites lie.