From:  Moçambique: Increasing economic growth and political stability in the post civil-war era:  Useful strategies:  Summary of an organizational consultation completed in November 1991

© 1992, 1999, 2016 by Stan De Loach, Ph.D., organizational consultant

10.  Managing corruption in government personnel and services

Corrupt personnel and practices are common in many developing nations, including Moçambique.  In Moçambique, corruption of government personnel appears to be higher among non-elected officials.  In general, such corruption stems from real or perceived scarcity of resources or from awareness of unjust or arbitrary distribution of new resources.  Corrupt practices often relate to the abusive, illegal, or otherwise incorrect exercise of statutory and discretionary authority.  The stress that the government places on ethical administration and exercise of authority should be proportionate to the degree of corruption present in the society and the government, from the highest to the lowest levels.

Methods for reducing corrupt practices require the support of the most powerful officials in the government.  The methods available for reducing corruption are effective but require prolonged periods of executive-level support for their fruition.

One method, used in Mexico, makes available to the citizens a telephone number for complaints about retail sales practices, product quality, or unfair pricing in the private sector.  Complaints are investigated by the government office responsible for order in the marketplace.  Similarly, in some countries, citizens have telephone access to an office of government that receives anonymous complaints about abusive or corrupt workers or practices in the public sector.

Agencies of both types also receive citizens' suggestions for solutions to problems affecting the society.  Using these structures, citizens can effectively report corruption and make direct contribution to the government's process of planning for new programs, laws, and regulations.

Government personnel and offices charged with responding to citizens' complaints should not be impotent, retaliatory, or superficial, for they are the agents through which a government builds confidence in the trustworthiness of the political system.  Government offices and employees charged with responding to direct contact and input from the citizens are the physical manifestation and confirmation of the government's commitment to ethics.

By demonstrating its own attempts to behave ethically, the government of a nation educates its citizens to the long-range economic hardship, inefficiency, and collective detriment occasioned by corrupt practices.

If a mentality of cynicism engulfs a people, as happens when their attempts at collaboration with the government are rejected or neglected, the stability of the government is undermined.  If government comes to be viewed as corrupt and therefore unreliable, the bases for cooperation between government and people are destroyed, to their mutual disadvantage.  When the futility of collaboration with elected officials in the proper administration of the nation is demonstrated, passive and active anti-government activity, including guerrilla tactics, seems to the people to be justified.

Reports on consultations in other areas:
1.    Steps to stimulate and reward excellence
2.    Immigration policies
3.    Transportation
4.    Tourism: Stable source of economic, cultural, and political enrichment
5.    Education and the welfare of children
6.    Stimulating the production of key agricultural products
7.    Export strategies
8.    Rational tax and tariff structures
9.    Appeal to donated (and handy) resources
10.  Managing corruption in government personnel and services
11.  Political decision-making for long-range progress

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iii 2016
iii 2010
ii 2002