ALTERNATIVE TRANSPARENCY

Many of us remember international company Arthur Andersen, which traces its history back to 1913. During the Enron scandal, Arthur Anderson shredded Enron audit documents amid an investigation into covering up billions in losses at the energy firm. The accountant was subsequently found guilty of obstructing justice, effectively putting an end to all its audit activities in 2002.

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This company with almost 100 years of history ceased to exist not only because it was found guilty of illegal activity. One of the main reasons was that it lost its credibility.

However, so many other companies continue to conduct their business as usual even though there are plenty of evidence that they have breached the law. The most remarkable example is the banking industry.

Besides business sectors, we often forget to mention non-government organisation (NGOs). These organisations continue their activities and provide information which does not reflect reality any longer. Moreover, information that they distribute I personally find harmful as it diverts the focus and confuses public.

I am not sure whether it is done intentionally or because people who work in these NGOs do not want to do their work diligently. Either way, what they do does not contribute to anything good. It is clear if we look at reports produced by Transparency International we would be able to notice it.

Transparency International (“TI”) is an international NGO which is based in Berlin, Germany, and was founded in 1993. Its purpose is to take action to combat corruption and prevent arising from corruption. It publishes the Global Corruption Barometer and the Corruption Perceptions Index.

TI has its methods to assess the level of corruption in each country. But are these methods effective to reflect the true picture? This question is important because many leading news outlets often make reference to TI’s reports. Because of it, this NGO has enormous influence over people’s perception.

Published Corruption Perception Index 2016 highlights the level of corruption around the world. At least this is what the NGO claims. According to this Index, countries with the higher score and lighter colour are less corrupt than those with the lower score and darker colour.

The United States has the highest score and brightest colour. Which leads me to a question whether people who work in this NGO are still capable of analysing events.

Transparency International defines corruption as “the abuse of entrusted power for private gain.” It also indicates that corruption can be classified as grand, petty and political. see more

In my opinion, this is not just very general but also not a complete definition. Due to technological progress, the war over people’s mind transformed into a highly sophisticated tool and at times almost unrecognisable because it merged with usual aspects of our daily life. Therefore, the definition used by TI is not enough to reflect the reality.

The danger of corruption is not only related to social inequality. It also leads to wars and murder of millions of innocent people. Corruption eliminates timeless values by forcing society to accept the perverted interpretation of what is right. And by doing so, has real potential to completely erase such values and eventually destroy our civilisation.

For better understanding, I would like to compare the level of corruption in Venezuela with the United States. Venezuela appears as one of the most corrupt countries. Although it is not clear how Transparency International came up with such conclusion.

As we can see, the U.S. is ranked as 18th out of 176 countries and Venezuela 166th. Although I did not read carefully what methodology this NGO is using for the assessment, I do not think that I missed too much. Because the assessment does not make any sense.

The president of Venezuela did not lie through his teeth to his own people and the world about WMD which led to illegal war in Iraq in 2003. This war resulted in the death of millions of people, many more millions became refugees. Consequences of that criminal act are felt until today.

It was not Venezuela which started 2008 financial crises that affected the entire world. It happened because of the corrupt individuals from the United States thought that they don’t have enough of things. Thus, millions of people lost their jobs, savings, houses and been thrown out of their normal life. Some people lost their life.

And people of Venezuela did not elect a person as their president who is well known for being not so honest. It happened in the United States. Besides, we also know that Hilary Clinton had three million more votes than Donald Trump and yet it is Donald Trump who is now the president.

What about Trump’s unprecedented conflict of interest? I think that no other president of any country can be compared with Trump on this. And the conflict extends further than just business. He brought his immediate family members to the White House and refused to hand over his business to the blind trust. And  new information regarding the scale of the conflict of interest is keep on coming.

Trump also (allegedly) breached the U.S. law on unfair competition by attacking Nordstrom because they dropped his daughter’s brand.

I cannot recall whether any other present of the United States or any other country had suspicious ties with foreign intelligent service. 

It is also unprecedented that top members of Trump’s administration entertained all of us with back to back revelations on their contact with Russian officials before and after the inauguration. They all denied it, lied under oath and so far, no one has been arrested.

And finally, it is not Venezuela which has the biggest number of nukes.

I could indicate much more items which would show that the reported Index is simply wrong.

So, my question to Transparency International is why the U.S. assigned with the brightest colour and highest rating?  In my opinion, whatever was used for the assessment, it shall be thrown away because it is no longer relevant. The reality proves that it is not useful anymore.

Transparency International states that “We’ve fought to put in place binding global conventions against corruption. We’ve held governments and companies to account, exposing the corrupt and dodgy deals.” If this is what this NGO thinks it is doing, then how come the Index shows otherwise?

If Transparency International could not identify those clearly visible facts that I have mentioned above, it might make us suspect that this organisation does not appear as transparent as it claims. And since it fantastically failed to “expose the corrupt and dodgy deals” of the United States of America, it is legitimate to assume that inability to be objective takes away its credibility.

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