The Technical Commission on Good Governance Practices (CTPBG) of the OLACEFS, held the second meeting of the Post-pandemic governance webinar cycle, which was attended by Dr. Delia Ferreira Rubio, head of Transparency International and member of the advisory council of the Alliance for Open Government.
Mr. Jesús Rodríguez, as president of the host commission of the OLACEFS, he began the meeting by highlighting the concept of integrity: “For a long time it was argued that the magnitude of corruption depended on the amount of public spending; such a superficial statement could lead us to think that the Scandinavian countries are the most corrupt, which is false. On the other hand, there were economic theories that justified corruption from a cost-benefit analysis, assuming that it is a necessary evil to influence decisions and achieve results that will eventually outweigh the costs. These concepts are being left in the past, which is auspicious news ”.
Dr. Ferreira Rubio began by explaining that integrity “helps prevent corruption, fraud, illegality, conflicts of interest and abuse of authority;” and that, therefore, it is “key to establishing and maintaining trust in institutions.”
She also pointed out the need to have a system of integrity enhanced by technological tools: “If the reporting systems work properly, they provide protection to those who report complaints and, in turn, generate a database. There are technologies that allow for the detection of behavior patterns that could serve as a red flag to initiate more in-depth work. A system of integrity must address conflicts of interest, which are the entry point for corruption.”
Regarding the relationship between integrity and audit institutions, the president of Transparency International considered that “every control body must meet three requirements: independence from political power; economic, technical and human resources; and adequate competence to carry out its functions. Otherwise, it is very difficult for a control body to be anything more than a facade to say “we are trying to control the public function.’”
Referring to the current context, Dr. Ferreira Rubio regretted that “governance has been one of the victims of the pandemic, whose progress affects good governance, and more so in our region. Abuses and centralization of power have been seen and governments have used the pandemic as an excuse to address hidden policies that are easier to conceal at this juncture.”
As a final corollary, the specialist in institutions and public ethics proposed working on “changing the social environment in general.” In this sense, he affirmed that “All countries have corruption at some point; The difference between one and the other has to do with how they react in a case of corruption, how they react institutionally and how society reacts to these cases: if it is concerned, if it sets limits, if it is indifferent or resigned. When all this fails, the last barrier against corruption is a person of integrity, who says no.”
Below you can find the recording of the session: