Study looks at anti-corruption measures, part of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
An article titled “Combating Corruption,” published in GV-Executive, reflects critically on the transformations brought about by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, particularly as part of the fight against corruption and bribery. The article is based on a study carried out by three professors and researchers at the Center for Ethics, Transparency, Integrity and Compliance Studies (FGVEthics) at Fundação Getulio Vargas’ Sao Paulo School of Business Administration (FGV EAESP): Lígia Maura Costa, Luciana Stocco Betiol and Marco Antonio Carvalho Teixeira.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development sets out 17 inclusive goals, each broken down into more specific targets, which were agreed on at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro in 2012. They include measures to eradicate hunger, protect the planet for future generations and guarantee prosperity and peace for people.
The article makes a connection between Target 16.5 (“Substantially reduce corruption and bribery”) and the UN Sustainable Development Goals as a whole. The authors stress the importance of anti-corruption measures and they discuss critical factors and opportunities for implementing the 2030 Agenda in this area. According to them, corruption hinders sustainable development by diverting public resources from essential services, increasing inequalities, hampering economic progress and distorting markets for goods and services.
The researchers write that in order for Target 16.5 to be achieved, it is necessary to have performance indicators. In Brazil, data related to this target is not available, hindering the development of public policies and business practices to prevent and detect corruption and respond to it.
Difficulties in obtaining information about Sustainable Development Goals are apparent in the 2021 Report on Sustainable Development Goals Indicators, which was produced jointly by Brazil’s national statistics agency, IBGE, and the federal government’s Special Secretariat for Social Coordination.
The authors present solutions to help government bodies, state-owned enterprises, partially state-owned enterprises and private sector companies adopt policies for implementing Target 16.5. This would imply a paradigm shift in the way business is done.
Anti-corruption systems involve three stages:
- 1. Prevention, which must be led by senior management;
- 2. The development of detection and monitoring systems;
- 3. The response to corruption, namely correction and punishment.
Another best practice is collective anti-corruption initiatives that bring together companies in the same or different sectors, as well as the public authorities and civil society. These initiatives seek to address common corruption-related problems.
Finally, the authors emphasize the strategic role of the public sector in achieving Target 16.5, not only through inspection and punishment but also through reward systems, which can generate good results, such as the “Pro-Ethics,” “Infra+” and “Agro+” integrity accreditation programs, run by the Office of the Comptroller General, Infrastructure Ministry and Agriculture Ministry, respectively.
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