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The Australian National University

TRIC Lectures and Seminars - 2011

Corruption in Procurement

Corruption in procurement seems to be an intractable problem globally. In the final TRIC Public Lecture for 2011, Professor Adam Graycar took the opportunity to illustrate the way some companies from the developed world corrupt procurement processes in less developed countries.Through a process of breaking down corrupt acts within these contexts to their base elements – the methods of corruption; the social activity  in which corruption occurs (in this case procurement); the sectors of society; and physical places that they occur, Professor Graycar demonstrated how we can begin to analyse what is actually going on. Combined with a system of red flags as early warnings, he  suggested some practical measures to minimize the opportunities for corruption to take hold in the procurement process at an international level.

The slides for the final lecture for 2011 can be found here.

Public Lecture: A high tech sleuth?

Professor Richard Jones presented the second TRIC Public Lecture of 2011 to an audience of professional and academics keen to hear about technological development and solutions for the early detection and prevention of corruption. Drawing from nearly fifty years experience in IT, Richard outlined system designs that could help identify any of the three points on the fraud (or corruption) triangle – motivation, justification and opportunity. By comparing developed world and developing world experiences in countries as diverse as Sweden and Kenya, Richard was able to highlight the data requirements for such systems. Access and privacy issues were >canvassed, and while Richard believes strongly in the right to privacy, he acknowledged that people using an organisation’s IT systems for corrupt purposes could not expect privacy to be a cover for their activity. Privacy and trust in an anti-corruption systems own integrity was also key to gathering data on corrupt activity, without this trust, the required data would never come to light.

Slides from Richard's lecture can be viewed here.


Avoiding Corruption in Schemes to Reduce Carbon Emissions from Deforestation

Dr Peter Larmour presented the first public lecture for TRIC for 2011. The audience of 40 included interested practitioners, scholars and students from a range of disciplines and agencies from as far afield as Papua New Guinea. Peter likened corruption to both cancer – whereby it is an unwelcome growth in the body politic – and a virus – a disease that can be caught, take time to incubate, transmitted and prove resistant to anti-corruption measures. The lecture then focused on an expanded framework for analysing causes of corruption and paired them with potential cures. Peter’s framework drew in behavioural theory in relation to corrupt individuals, structural theory for systems analysis and political theory to understand power relationships. Peter then used his framework to suggest actions which could be taken at multiple levels to lower the risk of corruption in schemes to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD).

Following the formal presentation, members of the audience took the opportunity to contribute observations from their own experiences, as well as expand on themes raised in the lecture. Issues such as the challenges posed to REDD schemes by broader policy were canvassed, and the cultural difficulties encountered when societies perceived anti-corruption measures as being imposed from without.

For those wanting more information, the paper Peter gave can be accessed here. The presentation slides, which include the analytic framework can be viewed here.


TRIC Inaugural Seminar

Professor Eric Uslaner presented the inaugural seminar for the Transnational Research Institute on Corruption (TRIC). Professor Uslaner’s seminar Corruption, Inequality and the Rule of Law: The Bulging Pocket Makes the Easy Life was based on his 2008 book of the same name. The seminar was premised on the argument that inequality within a society leads to a breakdown of trust, which can in turn be correlated to the levels of corruption. Using examples as diverse as Romania and Nigeria, Professor Uslaner demonstrated that changes to institutional settings – such as democratisation – do not in themselves lead to a reduction in corruption. Following the presentation, audience members discussed various cultural and economic issues surrounding corruption at the national and transnational level. The presentation was the first in a series to be hosted by TRIC, which will continue in 2011.

Click here to view Professor Uslaner's presentation.

Updated: 4 October 2016/ Responsible Officer:  Jodie Mildenhall / Page Contact:  Jodie Mildenhall