top of page
  • Writer's pictureomsac actualités

OMSAC: Rethinking Corruption Measurement for More Objectivity and Fairness"


The World Anti-Corruption Security Organization - OMSAC: Call for mobilization against the manipulation of corruption indicators


Over the past two years, OMSAC's Integrity and Investigations department has engaged in an extensive international investigation. This investigation revealed a troubling landscape of manipulation, subjectivity and bias in current corruption measurement mechanisms. We have uncovered questionable practices within pseudo-bodies and organizations that claim to fight corruption, but which, in reality, contribute to its maintenance.


These revelations have caused us to think deeply about how corruption is assessed globally and the major consequences of these flawed assessments. Our investigation highlights the urgent need to rethink these mechanisms and make them more objective, fair and transparent.


In our analysis, we will share the key findings of our investigation and make specific recommendations for fundamental reform of how we measure and combat corruption. We firmly believe that transparency, accountability and verifiability must be at the heart of these mechanisms to ensure a more honest and equitable world for all.


In our analysis, we will share key findings from our survey and make specific recommendations for fundamental reform in the way we measure and tackle corruption. We firmly believe that transparency, accountability and verifiability must be at the heart of these mechanisms to ensure a more honest and fairer world for all.


We launch a sincere appeal to the States that have been victims of these manipulations in recent years. Join us in our call to action to challenge false clues that have affected you and to shine a light on more reliable and legitimate corruption clues. Together, in accordance with human rights principles and international law, we can strengthen the fight against corruption, promote justice and fairness, and work towards a future where transparency and integrity prevail. Join us in our call to action for meaningful change in the fight against corruption, because we believe that every individual, every business and every nation deserves a future free from corruption and filled with integrity.


Why rethink the measurement of corruption

It is entirely commendable to want to examine and question current anti-corruption mechanisms and methods of assessing corruption. Transparency and objectivity in measuring corruption are essential to ensure the effectiveness of anti-corruption policies.


1. Contextualization: re-examining anti-corruption mechanisms

The fight against corruption is a major concern globally. Corruption measurement mechanisms, such as the Organizational Perception Index and other similar international indicators, play a critical role in setting anti-corruption priorities and allocating resources. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that these current mechanisms present significant problems which call into question their objectivity and effectiveness.


One of the major concerns lies in the subjectivity inherent in these mechanisms. Corruption assessments often rely on the opinions of a limited number of experts or informants, leaving room for personal interpretations and potential bias. Perceptions of corruption may vary among experts and are likely influenced by cultural, political and economic factors.


Furthermore, current mechanisms for measuring corruption may be vulnerable to deliberate manipulation. Some governments and economic actors have been accused of seeking to influence these indicators in their favor, by implementing strategies to conceal corruption or by exerting pressure on the experts responsible for the evaluations.


These concerns raise key questions about the effectiveness of current anti-corruption mechanisms. If assessments are not objective and reliable, resources allocated to the fight against corruption could be misdirected, and countries and companies truly committed to the fight could be disadvantaged. It is therefore imperative to question these mechanisms and explore more transparent and objective alternatives to measure corruption and fight against this scourge. In the following sections, we will comprehensively examine the limitations of current mechanisms and offer recommendations for effective reform.


2. Analysis of Existing Mechanisms : Limits and Bias of the Corruption Perception Index (CPI)

The Corruption Perception Index (CPI) of a well-known organization is one of the most widely used indicators to assess corruption on a global scale. However, critical analysis reveals several limitations and potential biases that call into question its reliability and objectivity.


A. Subjectivity : The CPI is based on opinion surveys conducted among experts and business professionals. This inherent subjectivity in the evaluation process means that results are influenced by individual perceptions, which may be biased by cultural, political or economic bias.


B. Lack of empirical data : The CPI is mainly based on qualitative rather than quantitative data. There is often a lack of strong empirical data to support assessments, reducing the robustness of the index.


C. Selection of experts : The choice of experts interviewed can be criticized. Experts may come primarily from academia and business, which may not reflect the diversity of perspectives and experiences in the field.


D. Sensitivity to political changes : The CPI can be sensitive to political changes, meaning that results can vary significantly from year to year due to changes in political perceptions and not necessarily due to actual changes in corruption.


E. Ignorance of systemic corruption : The IPC often focuses on high-level corruption and may overlook systemic and everyday corruption that more affects ordinary citizens.


F. Impact on country image : Countries scoring poorly in the CPI may suffer economic and diplomatic consequences, which may prompt some governments to put in place measures to manipulate or conceal corruption rather than combat.


G. Lack of distinction within countries : The CPI often treats countries as homogeneous entities, which can mask regional differences and variations in corruption within a country.


Due to these limitations and potential biases, it is imperative to rethink corruption measurement mechanisms to make them more objective, transparent and reliable. Reform of these indicators should include diversification of data sources, greater participation of local stakeholders, use of quantitative empirical data, and awareness of specific cultural and regional contexts. This will make it possible to better understand the complex reality of corruption and to more effectively guide actions to combat this scourge.


3. Biased Assessment Methods : Corruption assessment methods can be subject to various biases, ranging from expert opinion to political and economic pressure, with potentially damaging consequences for some countries and companies.


A. Bias related to expert opinion : Assessments of corruption often depend on the subjective opinions of experts, which can lead to bias. Some experts may have cultural or political biases, and their opinions may be influenced by personal experience. This can lead to inaccurate and biased assessments of corruption in some countries.


C. Selection of experts : The choice of experts interviewed can be criticized. Experts may come primarily from academia and business, which may not reflect the diversity of perspectives and experiences in the field.


D. Sensitivity to political changes : The CPI can be sensitive to political changes, meaning that results can vary significantly from year to year due to changes in political perceptions and not necessarily due to actual changes in corruption.


E. Ignorance of systemic corruption : The IPC often focuses on high-level corruption and may overlook systemic and everyday corruption that more affects ordinary citizens.


F. Impact on country image : Countries scoring poorly in the CPI may suffer economic and diplomatic consequences, which may prompt some governments to put in place measures to manipulate or conceal corruption rather than combat.


G. Lack of distinction within countries : The CPI often treats countries as homogeneous entities, which can mask regional differences and variations in corruption within a country.


Due to these limitations and potential biases, it is imperative to rethink corruption measurement mechanisms to make them more objective, transparent and reliable. Reform of these indicators should include diversification of data sources, greater participation of local stakeholders, use of quantitative empirical data, and awareness of specific cultural and regional contexts. This will make it possible to better understand the complex reality of corruption and to more effectively guide actions to combat this scourge.


3. Biased Assessment Methods : Corruption assessment methods can be subject to various biases, ranging from expert opinion to political and economic pressure, with potentially damaging consequences for some countries and companies.


A. Bias related to expert opinion : Assessments of corruption often depend on the subjective opinions of experts, which can lead to bias. Some experts may have cultural or political biases, and their opinions may be influenced by personal experience. This can lead to inaccurate and biased assessments of corruption in some countries.


B. Political pressure : Some governments may exert pressure on evaluators to obtain more favorable results. This can be done through threats, intimidation or financial inducements. Evaluators may have incentives to downplay the severity of corruption in a given country.


C. Economic influence : Powerful multinational corporations can also influence assessments of corruption. They can exert economic pressure by threatening to withdraw investments or contracts in the event of poor ranking. Evaluators may be tempted to protect their country's economic interests by rating domestic companies favorably.


D. Effects on international image : Countries with good anti-corruption rankings often benefit from a better international image, which can attract more foreign investment and strengthen their diplomatic position. This may encourage some countries to do everything to maintain a favorable image, even if they do not take significant measures against corruption.


E. Consequences on the fight against corruption : Biased evaluation methods have harmful consequences on the fight against corruption. Resources can be misdirected, countries truly committed to the fight can be discouraged, and public trust can be undermined if assessments do not reflect reality.


To address these biases, it is essential to adopt more transparent, diverse and empirically based evaluation methods. The participation of independent experts, the collection of robust quantitative data, and the publication of detailed reports can help reduce the risks of bias and promote a more effective fight against corruption. Anti-corruption agencies and international institutions must also be vigilant and independent to avoid unwelcome pressure and influence.


4. Concrete Cases : The Political and Economic Consequences of Contested Corruption Indicators

Several concrete cases illustrate how indicators of corruption have been contested and have had significant political and economic repercussions. These examples highlight the potentially devastating impact of these indicators when their objectivity is called into question.


A. World Bank Chile Ranking : In 2018, the World Bank lowered Chile's ease of doing business ranking due to concerns about corruption. This decision had direct economic consequences, as it hampered Chile's ability to attract foreign investment. However, it has also sparked controversy, with many Chileans and experts contesting the validity of these assessments, arguing that the reality of corruption in the country is far less serious than international rankings suggest.


B. Ranking of Russia by Transparency International : Russia has frequently been ranked among the most corrupt countries by Transparency International. This assessment had a significant impact on Russia's diplomatic and economic relations with other countries. The rankings have been used to justify economic sanctions and trade restrictions, but some critics say the rankings are politically motivated and overlook anti-corruption efforts undertaken by the Russian government.


C. Ranking of Ukraine in 2014 : Ukraine was highly ranked as one of the most corrupt countries before the Revolution of Dignity in 2014. This perception fueled popular protests and ultimately led to a change in diet. The impact of corruption rankings on citizen mobilization and policy change demonstrates how these assessments can have major policy consequences.


D. Ranking Brazil in the context of Operation Lava Jato : Brazil's massive corruption investigations, known as Operation Lava Jato, have revealed large-scale corruption scandals involving corporations and high-level politicians. This has led to a significant increase in the perception of corruption in the country, according to international rankings. This perception has had economic repercussions by discouraging foreign investment and weakening market confidence.


These concrete cases show how corruption assessments can have far-reaching political and economic consequences. It is essential to ensure that these indicators are based on solid empirical data, transparent in their methodology, and free from any political or economic bias to avoid misrepresentations of the reality of corruption and to promote effective anti-corruption policies. corruption.


5. Call for More Objective Corruption Measuring Mechanisms : To ensure more objective and effective corruption measurement mechanisms, here are some key recommendations:


A. Diversification of data sources: Encourage the collection of data from multiple sources, including citizen surveys, financial data, reports from non-governmental organizations, and independent audits. This will diversify perspectives and reduce reliance on the opinion of a small group of experts.


B. Methodological transparency : Methodologies used to assess corruption must be transparent and publicly accessible. Data collection, analysis and scoring processes should be clearly documented and disclosed, so that stakeholders can assess the validity of the assessments.


C. Stakeholder participation : Actively involve local stakeholders, including NGOs, media, academia, and civil society representatives, in the assessment process. Their local knowledge and experiences can provide valuable perspective and help reduce bias.


D. Use of multiple indicators : Instead of relying on a single indicator, encourage the use of multiple indicators to assess corruption. This may include corruption indices, governance indicators, corporate transparency data, and other relevant measures. Aggregating this data can provide a more comprehensive assessment.


E. Verifiability of data : Ensure that the data used to assess corruption is verifiable and based on solid evidence. Where possible, quantitative data should be favored, as it is less subject to subjectivity.


F. Cultural and contextual sensitivity : Consider cultural and contextual differences in assessing corruption. What may be seen as corruption in one culture may not be seen as corruption in another. Evaluation mechanisms should be sensitive to these nuances.


G. Corruption indicators at the sub-national level : Rather than treating countries as homogeneous entities, develop corruption indicators at the sub-national level to account for regional variations. This makes it possible to better identify pockets of corruption within a country.


H. Continuous monitoring and periodic review :Corruption measurement mechanisms should be subject to continuous monitoring and periodic review of their methodology to ensure that they remain relevant and objective.


By following these recommendations, corruption measurement mechanisms can become more reliable, more objective and more effective in the fight against this scourge. They will better serve the goals of transparency, accountability and the reduction of corruption globally.


6. Importance of Transparency in the Fight Against Corruption : Transparency is an essential pillar in the fight against corruption, because it promotes accountability, strengthens the verifiability of data and contributes to better governance. Here is why transparency is crucial and how it can be strengthened in collecting and publishing data on corruption:


A. Increased accountability : Transparency makes the actions of governments, businesses and institutions more visible and accessible to the public. This creates an incentive for more responsible and ethical management, because actors know that they are likely to be held accountable for their actions.


B. Corruption Prevention : Transparent disclosure of information about contracts, financial transactions, and government activities makes it more difficult for corrupt actors to conceal their actions. Transparent data makes it easier for stakeholders to detect and report suspicious behavior.


C. Public Trust : Transparency builds public trust in institutions and businesses. When citizens have access to reliable and transparent information about anti-corruption efforts, they are more likely to support these efforts and actively participate in corruption prevention.


D. Better use of resources : Transparent data allows governments and organizations to better allocate their resources to fight corruption. Anti-corruption policies and programs can be designed in a more targeted and effective manner.


E. Data verifiability : Transparency facilitates data verification. Information made public may be reviewed by third parties, including researchers, journalists and civil society organizations, for accuracy and reliability.

To enhance transparency in the collection and publication of corruption data, here are some steps to consider:


has. Transparency Law : Pass national or international laws that require transparency in government transactions, public contracts, and financial reporting by public officials.


b. Open data portals : Create online portals where data on corruption is easily accessible to the public. Make sure these portals are user-friendly and regularly updated.


vs. Protection of whistleblowers : Put in place laws and protection mechanisms for whistleblowers who report corruption. They play a vital role in exposing wrongdoing.


d. Corporate Transparency: Encourage companies to publicly disclose their anti-corruption practices, including their anti-corruption policies, audits and results.


Transparency is a powerful tool in the fight against corruption, as it allows the public to monitor and actively participate in promoting integrity and accountability. It contributes to creating an environment conducive to ethical practices and the reduction of corruption.


7. Conclusions and Recommendations for the Reform of Anti-Corruption and Corruption Measurement Mechanisms: In conclusion, current anti-corruption and corruption measurement mechanisms have significant limitations that compromise their objectivity and effectiveness. . Concerns about subjectivity, biases, political and economic pressures were highlighted, as well as the major political and economic implications of these contested indicators. To address these issues, here are some specific recommendations for needed reform:


A. Diversification of data sources : Encourage data collection from multiple sources, including citizen surveys, financial data, reports from nongovernmental organizations, and independent audits. This will reduce reliance on the opinion of a small group of experts.


B. Methodological Transparency: Require that methodologies used to assess corruption be transparent and publicly available. Data collection, analysis and scoring processes should be clearly documented and disclosed.

C. Stakeholder Engagement : Actively involve local stakeholders, including NGOs, media, academia and civil society, in the assessment process. Their local knowledge and experiences can provide valuable perspective.


D. Use of multiple indicators : Promote the use of multiple indicators to assess corruption, including corruption indices, governance indicators, corporate transparency data, and other relevant measures. This will allow for a more complete assessment.


E. Verifiability of data : Ensure that the data used to assess corruption is verifiable and based on solid evidence. Quantitative data should be preferred, as it is less subject to subjectivity.


F. Cultural and Contextual Sensitivity : Consider cultural and contextual differences in assessing corruption. Evaluation mechanisms should be sensitive to these nuances.


G. Sub-national corruption indicators: Develop sub-national corruption indicators to account for regional variations.


H. Legislative Transparency : Pass transparency laws to require the disclosure of information about public contracts, government transactions, and public officials' financial statements.


I. Protection of whistleblowers : Put in place laws and protection mechanisms for whistleblowers who report corruption.


J. Continuous Monitoring and Periodic Review : Subject corruption measurement mechanisms to continuous monitoring and periodic review of their methodology to ensure their relevance and objectivity.


8. Case Studies and Testimonials : The Impact of Biased Assessments of Corruption

Case studies and testimonials vividly reveal the impact of biased assessments of corruption on individuals, companies and countries. Here are some examples illustrating these consequences:


A. The Case of Brazil and Operation Lava Jato : Operation Lava Jato in Brazil revealed major corruption scandals involving domestic companies and high-level politicians. However, international assessments of corruption have sometimes given a negative image of Brazil without taking into account the drastic measures taken to combat corruption. This has damaged the country's reputation and discouraged foreign investment, despite significant efforts to root out corruption.


B. Whistleblower Testimony : Many whistleblowers have reported wrongdoing in corporate and government corruption. However, some have faced retaliation and threats, which has had a devastating impact on their professional and personal lives. These testimonies underline the importance of protecting whistleblowers in the fight against corruption.


C. The World Bank Chile Ranking Affair : When the World Bank lowered Chile's ease of doing business ranking due to concerns about corruption, it sparked controversy within the country. Chilean businesses have suffered direct economic consequences from this ranking, fueling concerns about the validity of international assessments.


D. Multinational Company Testimony : Some multinational companies have been classified as having corrupt practices due to their presence in countries where corruption is endemic. However, these companies may also be victims of corrupt practices that they are trying to resist. The testimonies from these companies highlight the complexity of the fight against corruption on an international scale.


These case studies and testimonies highlight the real-world consequences of biased assessments of corruption. They show how these assessments can have significant economic, political and personal impact, underscoring the urgency of adopting fairer and more balanced corruption measurement mechanisms. The fight against corruption must not result in unfair harm to individuals, businesses or countries engaged in sincere efforts to eradicate corruption.


OMSAC can propose several new mechanisms for measuring corruption that are fairer and more balanced. Here are some ideas to explore:


1. Use of blockchain technology : Blockchain technology offers the ability to create immutable records of transactions and contracts, which can make corruption more difficult to hide. Your organization may propose the use of blockchain to record government transactions, public contracts, and other corruption-prone activities.


2. Measuring outcomes rather than perceptions : Rather than relying on subjective perceptions, corruption measurement mechanisms could focus on concrete outcomes. This could include reviewing corruption convictions, opened investigations, confiscated assets and other tangible indicators.


3. Early warning systems : Develop early warning systems that identify warning signals of corruption. This could include analyzing financial data, monitoring public procurement, or detecting abnormal behavior within government institutions or businesses.


4. Peer review : Establish a peer review mechanism between countries or companies to evaluate their integrity and anti-corruption efforts. Peers can provide a more balanced perspective than external evaluations.


5. Mandatory Independent Audits : Provide mandatory independent audits for businesses and governments, with strict compliance standards for transparency and accountability. The results of these audits could be used as indicators of corruption.


6. Financial Flow Analysis : Conduct in-depth analyzes of financial flows, including international fund transfers and capital movements, to detect patterns of corruption. This can reveal connections between corruption in different countries.


7. Citizen reporting platforms : Create online platforms where citizens can anonymously report corruption. These reports could be independently reviewed and used to investigate corruption.


8. Transparency in political financing : Demand full transparency in political financing, including full disclosure of financial contributions to political parties and election campaigns.


9. Social well-being indicators : Integrate social well-being indicators into corruption assessments, as corruption can have a negative impact on the quality of life of citizens. This could include measures such as access to education, health care and decent housing.


10. Education and awareness : Promote education and public awareness about corruption, so that citizens are better informed and more likely to report cases of corruption.


These mechanisms can help create a more equitable and objective framework for measuring corruption, minimizing bias and enhancing transparency and accountability. OMSAC can play a critical role in advocating for these mechanisms and working with other stakeholders to implement them.


Production of the press & media department of OMSAC

Comments


bottom of page