2009 Global Corruption Report: Corruption and the Private Sector

gcr wordle 1When asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, a 6-year old girl said she wanted to be a corrupt official, because they have so many things. After recovering from the shock of the little girl’s answer, the next question that arises is: how is it that these officials can accumulate so many things?

One of the reasons is that public officials are often in a key position to make decisions on contracts, licenses or other services that businesses need to operate. TI’s 2008 Bribe Payers Surveysurveyed business executives in 26 countries, and almost 20% claimed they were requested to pay a bribe. In developing and transition countries alone, politicians and officials are estimated to have received bribes of up to US$ 40 billion annually.

Today, Transparency International published its 2009 Global Corruption Report: Corruption and the Private Sector (GCR) , which takes an in-depth look at the scale and challenges of corruption in the private sector. One thing is for certain, urgent action must be taken.

Too many business executives and managers still engage into bribery and other forms of corrupt activities. The GCR reports that almost 1 in 5 managers claimed to have lost business due to a competitor paying bribes. This is not only bad for business itself, but also for society at large. The report shows that corrupt businesses cost billions, while undermining the stability of the economy, fair markets and effective development. One concrete example: Research in the report shows that consumers around the world were overcharged approximately US $300 billion through almost 300 private international cartels discovered from 1990 to 2005. Think about what US$ 140 for every child in the world could do.

When companies engage in corruption, consequences for the people can be devastating: water shortages, exploitative work conditions, unsafe medicines and poorly or illegally constructed buildings that collapse can harm peoples lives. Not everyone is as lucky as these kids of a school in Indonesia that collapsed only three months after being built.

These are the facts that keep being swept under the rug when discussing the effects of corruption too narrowly, or omitting the long-term consequences on people and society at large.


What do you think?

What are the most prominent issues of corporate corruption? Where do we still have to act in order to ensure fair business for all participants?

To prevent the proliferation of more corrupt businessmen, what is still missing in companies’ compliance programmes?

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Georg Neumann

About Georg Neumann

Georg Neumann is Internal Communications Coordinator at Transparency International.

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13 Responses to 2009 Global Corruption Report: Corruption and the Private Sector

  1. chndra mahesh varma 1 October 2009 at 11:47 am #

    In my India the corruption is the business of the govt. officials and business executives always made provision for bribes to carry the business. Our law and order dept. earning from social injustice and from antisocial elements appx. 730crore dollars daily. I m writing to govt. of India for takeover the job of corruption removal since last 25 years but no response is being given by corrupt ministers and govt. officials. I am fully confident that I can remove the corruption from India from its roots within 7 years only.

  2. chndra mahesh varma 1 October 2009 at 11:54 am #

    Asper my opinion “corruption is the father of social injustice and social injustice is the father of terrorism” if we able to make corruption free world then whole world will be free from terrorism.

  3. Dredd 10 October 2009 at 2:18 pm #

    I like this blog and link to it on my blog.

    There are some ideas there that bloggers and commenters here would appreciate.

  4. dreams 19 October 2009 at 2:37 pm #

    Corruption slows down development across the world. I think corruption can be stopped by replacing paper curreny with digital cash. What do you think?

  5. Shafiq Islam 19 November 2009 at 12:08 pm #


  6. Anand 19 November 2009 at 12:35 pm #

    It’s really strange that Switzerland, which “enables” & “assists” the politicians & business tycoons of a lot of countries to safely & secretly deposit their corruptly earned money & wealth amassed by tax evasion, is ranked 5. Transperancy International should give negative ratings for such countries, which encourage “secret” investments.

  7. Georg Neumann
    Georg Neumann 19 November 2009 at 2:14 pm #

    As you say, it is important to look at what happens with illicit money to complete the picture. Have a look at the Financial Secrecy Index, developed by our colleagues from the Tax Justice Network

  8. PG 25 December 2009 at 6:28 am #

    Professional lobbying should be made illegal

  9. Narayan Mane 27 December 2009 at 11:29 am #

    As per my knowledge, In India, more than 90 % govt departments and politicians are corrupted , about 80 % public sectors are corrupted and about 30 % private sectors are corrupted.If we stop this corruption, Growth of India will be 25 times more than present growth.

  10. Rohan Bhakt 24 October 2010 at 3:33 pm #

    According to me India is no more a land of vivid religion any more but has become a land of vivid type of corruption. Talking about abolishing corruption isn’t easy. We must first find the root of it. According to me the root of corruption are our complicated fundamentals & laws in which nobody wants to be entangled & the greed of Indians to have more. We just want to get more of a thing. We blame others but never see that we have the same problem. Seeing us, the next generation also aquire the same greediness. So my opinion is that we couldn’t change the present, because it is the result of our past, but we could change the future, if we give the best result to our present.


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