Indian Police Lose Password to Corruption Reporting System . . . For Eight Years

These police must really take their corruption-fighting job seriously.

Police in India have failed to act on hundreds of corruption complaints over an eight-year period because they did not know a computer password, it seems.

Delhi officers could not operate a portal holding more than 600 complaints – a lapse that has gone undetected since 2006, the Indian Express Newspaper said. The complaints came from India’s anti-corruption agency, called the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).

But two senior police officers have now been trained in the system, and can access the 667 cases that have piled up since the portal launched. One officer told the paper the oversight was “a technical problem”, and complaints are now being addressed.

Transparency International: More Than 25 Percent of People Globally Paid a Bribe Last Year

Transparency International’s 2013 survey of global attitudes and experiences with corruption found that of 114,000 people surveyed 107 countries, 34 percent had been asked to pay a bribe by an official and 27 percent had actually paid a bribe in the 12 months prior to being surveyed.

The survey found that people wanted to fight such corruption, but often did not have faith in institutions that are generally thought of as fighting corruption,

The Global Corruption Barometer 2013 also found that in too many countries the institutions people rely on to fight corruption and other crime are themselves not trusted. 36 countries view police as the most corrupt, and in those countries an average of 53 per cent of people had been asked to pay a bribe to the police. 20 countries view the judiciary as the most corrupt, and in those countries an average of 30 per cent of the people who had come in contact with the judicial systems had been asked to pay a bribe.

. . .

Around the world, people’s appraisal of their leaders’ efforts to stop corruption is worse than before the financial crisis began in 2008, when 31 per cent said their government’s efforts to fight corruption were effective. This year it fell to 22 per cent.

“Governments need to make sure that there are strong, independent and well-resourced institutions to prevent and redress corruption. Too many people are harmed when these core institutions and basic services are undermined by the scourge of corruption,” [Transparency International Chair Huguette] Labelle added.

I’ve created a table of the Transparency International data by country on percentage of individuals who were asked to pay a bribe by officials.


ANC Attacks Anti-Corruption Investigators

The African National Congress in February stepped up its public war of words with an anti-corruption unit — dubbed The Scorpions — designed to ferret out abuse of power in the South African state.

The Scorpions, whom are modeled on the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations, have been focusing on a large travel-related scandal in which Members of Parliament are accused inflating their travel expenses to scam upwards of $2 million.

Rather than getting to the bottom of that scandal, however, the ANC has predictably chosen to attack the investigators.

ANC chief whip Mbulelo Goniwe, for example, accused the anti-corruption unit of timing its announcements to harm the ANC, noting that The Scorpions had released a press release about the extent of the travel scandal on the same day that Thabo Mbeki delivered his State of the Nation address,

I don’t think it’s a coincidence. I think it’s a planned, desperate kind of act of vengeance to really undermine parliament and create this impression that members of parliaments are by definition cowboys and crooks.

The ANC has even taken to accusing members of the anti-corruption unit of having been spies for the apartheid-era government.

Mbeki himself promised a thorough investigation, not of corruption but of the anti-corruption task force, in February.

Of course the winds were taken out of the whole “we’re being persecuted” claim when five ANC Members of Parliament plead guilty to fraudulent billing of their travel expenses. Presumably, they were framed or were apartheid spies working with The Scorpions all along to discredit the ANC.


Mbeki to probe elite crime unit. The BBC, February 14, 2005.

ANC’s anger over cowboy ‘smears’. The BBC, February 4, 2005.

ANC to act against convicted MPs. iAfrica.Com, March 18, 2005.

Transparency International: 1 in 10 Families Worldwide Pays Bribes

To mark UN Anti-Corruption Day in December, Transparency International released the results of its 2004 Global Corruption Barometer highlighting ongoing corruption, especially in the developing world. The survey found that worldwide, 1 in 10 people said they or a member of their household had paid a bribe in the previous year.

The survey polled more than 50,000 people in 64 countries people between June and September 2004.

The rate of bribery was, not surprisingly, much higher in developing countries. For example, in Cameroon more than 50 percent of respondents said they or a member of their household had paid a bribe.

In Nigeria, Kenya, Lithuania and Moldova, 1 in 3 respondents said they or a household member had paid a bribe.

There was some good news, such as surprisingly low levels of bribe paying in South Africa, as well as a surprising level of corruption in Greece where 11 percent of those polled admitted they or a household member had paid a bribe.

Transparency International board member Akere Muna, who heads up the organization’s Cameroon branch, said in a press release,

It is time to use international co-operation to enforce a policy of zero tolerance of political corruption, and to put an end to practices whereby politicians put themselves above the law — stealing from ordinary citizens and hiding behind parliamentary immunity.

Political parties and politicians they nominate for election are entrusted with great power and great hopes by the people who vote for them. Political leaders must not abuse that trust by serving corrupt or selfish interests once they are in power.

According to the BBC, the World Bank estimates that as more than $1 trillion is paid out annually worldwide in bribes.


One in 10 families ‘pays bribes’. The BBC, December 9, 2004.

Political parties are most corrupt institution worldwide according to TI Global Corruption Barometer 2004. Press Release, Transparency International, December 9, 2004.