Tuesday, 3 March 2009

From the top down - our talent for corruption

It will come as no surprise to readers of this blog that a study by anti-corruption group Transparency International has found evidence of high-level corruption in Irish public life.

The study found that low-level petty corruption is not widespread in this country (bribes to officials, for instance) but that “legal” corruption through political funding, “cronyism, political patronage and favours” unduly influence “political decisions” at a higher level.

Some other points touched on are a “risk of patronage” in appointment to State boards, lack of transparency in funding for political parties, no disciplinary framework for judges, limits on access to freedom of information, self-regulation of professions, lack of whistleblower protection, lack of fraud and anti-corruption plans for local government, and the awarding of public contracts to shelf companies.

Well, we don’t call it Gombeen Nation for nothing.

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