UK fails to respond to gowth of corruption

| 20/06/2011

(CNS): Transparency International says that corruption in the UK is far greater than has been acknowledged. Although the organisation says corruption it is not endemic in Britain there is an inadequate response to its growing threat. The report which was released by the UK branch of NGO last week is described as the most comprehensive research ever undertaken in this area and examines levels of corruption in 23 UK sectors and institutions. “The research represents a ‘corruption health-check’ for the UK,” the NGO said in a release.

“Although corruption is not endemic in the UK, it is correct to say that in some areas of UK society and institutions, corruption is a much greater problem than recognised and that there is an inadequate response to its growing threat,” TI said.

The report is made up of several studies including an overview, an opinion survey and an assessment of key sectors. It found that 53.4% of respondents believe that corruption has increased either a little or a lot in the UK in the last three years; only 2.5% of respondents believe that corruption has decreased and almost half said they didn’t think the government is tackling corruption. A whopping 92.7% of respondents would like to report corruption, but only 30.1% would know where to report it.

“There is complacency and a lack of knowledge of the extent of corruption in key sectors and institutions,” the report reads. “The policy response is incoherent and uncoordinated. This inadequate response has in certain areas created a culture of impunity.”

The report revealed that a particularly shocking finding was the reach of organised crime to sectors and institutions where criminal activity and corruption are inextricably linked. The UK Border Agency, the police and prison services as well as social housing have all been targeted by organised criminals.

“The employment of illegal workers is regarded by the construction industry as the single biggest corruption threat to the sector as it damages fair competition,” TI said.  “There is a particular danger that hasty institutional changes and cuts in specific areas of government expenditure may, as an unintended consequence, create an environment that greatly increases the risk of corruption,” the report found.
TI stated that there are at least 12 different agencies or government departments with partial responsibility for anti-corruption activities, plus more than 40 police forces, and it is unclear whether they share information, collaborate on investigations, or share good practice on corruption prevention.

See reports here and below


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