February 11, 2007

Fine Op-Ed on the Corruption Drive

Young Shameran Abed at the New Age has an insightful op-ed about the SOE Corruption Drive that meshes quite well with my thinking on this subject. He correctly notes that the SOE government needs to look beyond catching a few big fish, and highlights the need for institutional reform. He writes, in the key paragraph:

"Similarly, corruption in these institutions cannot be adequately reduced unless certain institutional reforms are carried out. The business community has time and again said that there needs to be less government, pointing out that the fewer offices that one needs to go to in order to get a plan or a project approved, the fewer times that a bribe will have to be paid. Inefficient systems and administrative bottlenecks only create opportunities for corruption, and a streamlining of the civil service to make it more service-oriented can significantly reduce the scope for corruption. At the same time, procurement, both in the civil service and in the military, must be made simpler and much more transparent in order to stop the huge amount of corruption that takes place through it. Unless these changes are brought about, the simple detention and punishment of the corrupt is unlikely to affect the levels of corruption in this country."

He hits on the the right notes, in my humble opinion: the need for less government, rationalization of administrative systems, transparent procurement systems, the need for a long term view of containing corruption rather than the ad hoc approach that seems to be in the offing. Read the whole thing before it goes offline. I do hope the New Age folks are keeping a good archive of the stuff that they've been writing recently. Good stuff.

UPDATE: Here's the permanent link to the op-ed. And they do have an archive, right where it says... Archive!

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