Corruption is the abuse of authority for private gain. It affects the public sector and the private sector.

Globally, the World Bank estimates that more than $1 trillion US dollars ($1,000 billion) are paid in bribes each year. This amount is close to 5% of the global GDP and does not include embezzlement of public funds or theft of public assets.

Embezzlement is more difficult to measure, but Transparency International estimates that former Indonesian leader Suharto embezzled anywhere between $15-35 billion from his country, while Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines, Mobutu in Zaire and Abacha in Nigeria may have embezzled up to $5 billion each.
In lesser developed countries, the World Bank has estimated that corruption and bad management reduces the standard of living by up to 75%. US laws forbid US companies from paying bribes, but most other countries do not have anti-bribery legislation.

According to the Corruption Perceptions Index 2004 Canada scored 12th best out of 146 countries.

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Impliment society wide reform to reduce corruption.

Reducing corruption spurs economic development and increasing corruption hinders or reverses it, it is that simple. Greed is only good if it happens in the midst of competition. In order to minimize coruption all governments must:
  1. ensure a clean and accessible justice system.
    1. open and accountable courts - no secret trials allowed.
    2. provide access to justice - the courts ensure that poor people are able to have a fair trial and are able to use the courts to settle disputes.
    3. disbar dishonest laywers and corrupt judges.

  1. ensure freedom of the press
  2. institute democratic reforms including
    1. campaign finance reform
  3. Create strong oversight and governance institutions in the financial industry.
  4. Create Whistleblower protection laws in the private and public sector.
  5. Enact laws which protect citizens from organized crime.
  6. good governance, oversight and regulation to protect the public interest.
  7. income equality, because inequality creates and sustains oppression.

Reduce government to reduce corruption.

Corruption usually exists only because governments and their authorities weild too much power. All governments tolerate corruption because that is what keeps them powerful and the people weak. Abolish govrenment and you abolish corruption.

sources and resources

UN Convention against corruption
World Bank Corruption Links
Transparency International - Global Corruption Report 2005.
Transparency International - Canada's National Integrity System (2001)

World Bank - The cost of corruption.