In this lesson, we will discuss how corruption slips into the different areas of public sector and the consequences of these events.
Activity: Corruption can be present in different areas of the public sector. Match each label to the image that corresponds to it by moving the text and dropping it to the image.
Corruption manifests differently in different areas of the public sector. In the area of defense or security, for example, this may include patronage and bribes to secure the purchase of military equipment from a particular company. Common corruption schemes in the police and the judiciary may include giving money to escape minor offenses and manipulation of evidence by the police with court judgments favoring the party which can pay their way. Corruption in these areas can especially affect the implementation of laws and the protection of human rights in a country.
In the health sector it may refer to asking for high payments for service provided or abuse of healthcare funds by public officials and doctors in procuring medicines, supplies, and other resources. This may eventually lead to healthcare issues and unnecessary deaths. Similarly, corruption in public works and infrastructure normally happen in procurement, where projects are given not to the provider with the best proposal but to those which are willing to offer money to decision makers. In order to recoup their expenses and gain profit, these contractors would then employ cheap labor and substandard raw materials. These instances have often led to inappropriately located and poorly functioning infrastructure, to services that physically injure people.
All these schemes lead to frustration, disengagement, and even conflict among citizens. Single acts of corruption pile together making the problem embedded and pervasive. Systemic corruption in the public sector erodes public trust in government institutions and negatively impacts the outcomes of government programs. As corruption becomes rampant, a self-perpetuating organizational culture of corruption eventually forms.
The vested interests of the different actors in the system make systemic corruption very difficult to fight. It is necessary to ensure that anti-corruption efforts not only target specific acts and cases but ensure that laws and regulations which will protect government processes are present, that transparency in decisions will be upheld, and citizens will participate in monitoring public sector transactions.