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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competition. In order to minimize coruption all governments must:
- ensure a clean and accessible justice system.
- ensure freedom of the press
- institute democratic reforms including
- Create strong oversight and governance institutions in the financial industry.
- Create Whistleblower protection laws in the private and public sector.
- Enact laws which protect citizens from organized crime.
- good governance, oversight and regulation to protect the public interest.
- income equality, because inequality creates and sustains oppression.
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.