It is extremely difficult to promote corporate C&E when the public sector is so rampantly corrupt. We at WEFEC are convinced that C&E standards that are widely practiced in the US corporate climate can be implemented in the public sector with the assistance of the business community. Many ethical private sector actors are logical partners because they not only know the compliance mechanisms and western standards but also understand the complexities of the situation on the ground in the countries where they are doing business.
The problem in developing and transitional countries where the rule of law and law enforcement weakness most often lies in the good will and effectiveness of governments and political leaders to promote economic development without fraud or corruption. The Judiciary, for example, can sanction or process a certain number of individual cases but can’t force the entire government to follow compliance and ethics standards as long as the government do not show a strong commitment and introduce effective systems for preventing, finding and fixing these problems. The political will to fight against corruption in transitional or developing nations varies country to country. The problems also arise in countries who do show the political will to fight corruption but lack effective systems to strengthen the integrity levels of the public sector. This often brings us back to square one where the failure to combat corruption leads to bigger disappointment and increased apathy. Many transitional countries find themselves in this vicious cycle.
Reporting on anti-corruption by international bodies adds to the overall discouragement by often taking a top-down perspective without having feedback and input from a more grassroots level. Standard reporting on corruption usually focus on public sector issues such as Judiciary; Police; Public Services; Land Administration; Tax Administration; Customs Administration; Public Procurement; Legislation; and Civil Society. Poor ratings in these categories are identified as the greatest hindrance to economic growth and attracting foreign investment. Yet there have no attempts to introduce effective model of corporate compliance laws into the public sector. This is the gap WEFEC aims to bridge.