Integrity and high professional standards are key building blocks to achieving organisational objectives. For instance, an organisation is more likely to be vulnerable to corruption when it is structurally weak or poorly governed.
If professional standards are low, standards in all areas will tend to be low, and such agencies may have higher levels of bullying, harassment, wastage, dissatisfaction and dysfunction. The feedback loops and management systems that senior managers would normally rely on to improve business are not likely to be as effective as needed. Such agencies won’t be able to tap into the capacity they need to achieve their objectives.
Conversely, a high performing agency with high integrity and high professional standards will be more agile, responsive, energised and alert. This standard will be motivating for the people agencies want to keep and will be attractive to the people agencies want to hire. It also tends to build trust with partner agencies, to open the flow of intelligence and cooperation.
ACLEI uses the concept—fight corruption without fighting corruption—to describe organisational capabilities which enable agencies to build corruption resistance through strengthening accountability and governance frameworks generally. This philosophy allows an agency to focus its efforts, not in terms of how many ‘bad apples’ are identified, but in terms of building corruption resistance and improving the integrity system.
The fight corruption without fighting corruption concept is built upon principles for countering corruption first developed by Dr Daniel Kaufmann in 2005 for the World Bank, in the context of assisting developing countries. Dr Kaufmann’s explanation of this principle can be accessed on the International Monetary Fund website at Myths and Realities of Governance and Corruption.