Image courtesy of Steve Bell
In 2014, I wrote a lengthy article called A reminder of the established standards and ethics of Public Office, as the UK Coalition have exempted themselves, and in it, I discussed the many facets of Conservative corruption. I also highlighted that Transparency International have flagged up many areas of concern in their report: A mid-term assessment of the UK Coalition Government’s record on tackling corruption.
Here is a list of the main causes for concern from 2014, many of which we have reported also:
- There is no coordinated strategy or action plan to combat corruption in the UK. Data on corruption are not currently collected or are subsumed with other data such as fraud.
- There is no strategic plan or clear channels of accountability; this is symptomatic of the lack of coordination surrounding Whitehall’s anti-corruption efforts.
- Resources available to the institutions responsible for fighting corruption have been significantly reduced by the Government. Notably, the Serious Fraud Office’s budget has been cut from £51 million in 2008-9 to £33m in 2012-13. Its budget is expected to fall further to £29m by 2014-15.
- The Government is seeking to amend the Freedom of Information Act to make it easier for authorities to refuse requests on cost grounds.
- This Government is threatening to reduce the access of civil society and others to use judicial review mechanisms.
- Legal Aid is being cut extensively, this is likely to deny access to justice to individuals and groups who are victims of corruption.
- The Government’s Localism Act abolished the Audit Commission, which in addition to overseeing and commissioning audit for local government and other bodies like the NHS, had statutory functions for investigating financial management and value for money. There was insufficient public discussion and consultation on the decision to abolish the Audit Commission and to debate and discuss the alternatives to it.
- The Leveson enquiry and associated criminal investigations revealed a disturbing picture of the cosy relationship between politicians and the media, the bribing of police officers by journalists and the lack of will to hold the media accountable even when laws had clearly been broken.
- Concentration of media ownership remains a significant corruption risk. The Government has thus far failed to implement the Leveson reforms or any alternative.
- Labour’s Bribery Act has succeeded in encouraging many private companies to implement adequate procedures to combat corruption. However the Coalition has reduced resources for investigation and prosecution.
- The “Generals for hire scandal” in October 2012 suggests that the current system of controls and oversight of movement between the Government and the private sector is insufficient. There have been too many similar scandals. In July 2012 the Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) recommended that Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACoBA) be replaced by a new, statutory, Conflicts of Interest and Ethics Commissioner. This recommendation has been ignored by the Government.
- The Government has failed to address the problems with Tory political party funding.
- Cash-for-access scandals indicate that donations to the government are a major source of vulnerability to corruption. Current funding rules lead to a lack of public trust in political parties. 42% of voters believe that donations of over £100,000 are designed to gain access and influence over the Tory party.
- It has been estimated that billions of pounds of dirty money is laundered into and through the UK each year. Currently the UK and its Overseas Dependent Territories and Crown Dependencies do not require companies to declare who the ultimate beneficial ownership are of companies and trusts. Action taken against the facilitators and enablers of corruption is inadequate, for example, the lawyers, bankers and accountants that handle corrupt transactions.
Now, Tom Pride writes that the anti-corruption organisation, Transparency International, has issued a warning that Cameron must do more to combat corruption.
You can read the the full statement here.
Read Tom Pride’s full article on Pride’s Purge.
In an extraordinary statement, anti-corruption organisation Transparency International has told David Cameron he must do more to combat corruption in his own country.
The strong warning comes on the same day Cameron hosted a summit of international leaders focusing on combating corruption.
Transparency International openly derides the UK’s credentials on corruption, slamming UK companies for “overseas bribery“, the City of London for “laundering corrupt assets” as well as “dirty money” in the UK’s property market and “political corruption scandals” at home.
You can read the the full statement here.
The mainstream press in the UK is unlikely to report this, so please share. Thanks: