Business Ethics

Americans realized early on that easy access to information would be fundamental to the proper functioning of their new democracy. They would not be able to make sound decisions about candidates and policies without it. To be effective, moreover, this information would have to be readily available and widely distributed.

Many of America's Founding Fathers hated the thought of political parties, quarreling "factions" they were sure would be more interested in contending with each other than in working for the common good. They wanted individual citizens to vote for individual candidates, without the interference of organized groups — but this was not to be.

"It is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error."

— Robert H. Jackson, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, American Communications Association v. Douds, 1950

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."

— The United States Constitution, Amendment X, 1789

"The Court bows to the lessons of experience and the force of better reasoning, recognizing that the process of trial and error, so fruitful in the physical sciences, is appropriate also in the judicial function."

— Louis D. Brandeis, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Burnet v. Coronado Oil and Gas Co., 1932

"... the judiciary is the safeguard of our liberty and of our property under the Constitution."

— Charles Evans Hughes, Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Speech at Elmira, New York, 1907

"Government implies the power of making laws."

— Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers, 1787-1788


"The chief magistrate derives all his authority from the people..."

— Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural Address, 1861


"But what is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?"

— James Madison, The Federalist Papers, 1787-88


Outline of the U.S. Government
What makes U.S. government uniquely American...its Constitution, the separation of powers, the concept of “checks and balances,” the decentralized roles of state and local governments, and a citizenry with wide opportunity to be part of it all.

The Right to Information
The Right to Information--Information, Public Awareness and Public Records The argument in favor of the public's right to know was succinctly put forth by James Madison, one of America's constitutional fathers: "A popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power that knowledge brings."

Good Financial Management
Good Financial Management One of the most powerful anti-corruption devices is the establishment of sound financial management practices, with timely and efficient accounting systems combined with punctual, professional reviews by internal and independent auditors. For this to be achieved, top-level management and political commitment to robust controls is vital--be it in the public or in the private sector. Such a commitment is a missing element in many countries today, and in both the public and the private sector..

Public Procurement
Public Procurement: Where the Public and Private Sectors Do Business
Few activities create greater temptations or offer more opportunities for corruption than public sector procurement. Every level of government and every kind of government organization purchases goods and services, often in quantities and monetary amounts that defy comprehension. Whether this is really the most common form of public corruption may be questionable but without doubt it is alarmingly widespread and almost certainly the most publicized. Hardly a day goes by without the revelation of another major scandal in public procurement somewhere

Conflict of Interest
Conflict of Interest, Nepotism and Cronyism Given the interplay between the three concepts--conflict of interest, nepotism and cronyism are often rolled together in a single pithy phrase. This is particularly so when the crash of the "Asian Tigers" is being analyzed

Public Service Ethics
Public Service Ethics, Monitoring Assets and Integrity Testing publicservice, the need to foster and sustain high levels of ethics in the public sector has come into focus. There is, almost universally, a lurking suspicion in many countries that public servants (both members of the public service and their political masters) have been lining their pockets at the public's expense, and calls for the monitoring of assets of senior public sector decision-makers in particular, are now heard on all continents. These suspicions are fuelled by scandals with serious moral implications, revealed almost daily, and in developed countries no less than the developing..

Administrative Law
Administrative Law--Judicial Review of Official Actions Far more has been accomplished for the welfare and progress of mankind by preventing bad actions than by doing good ones

Free and Fair
Free and Fair Elections A government gains its legitimacy from its having won a mandate from the people to govern. The way in which this mandate is won is crucial to the quality of that legitimacy and to the readiness of all to acknowledge it. Elections that lack legitimacy breed instability and an environment in which corruption can quickly breed..

International Actors and Mechanisms
International Actors and Mechanisms
Despite competition from printing companies around the world, share prices in De La Rue rose by 9 percent after Coalition Provisional Authority Head, Paul Bremer, announced that the new currency would be released on October 15.

The Private Corporate Sector
The Private Corporate Sector The private sector Many may see corruption mainly as a domestic problem--a policeman trading in parking tickets, a revenue officer trading in reduced tax assessments, local government officials trading incidences for market stalls. Not so apparent, however, is the much deeper international corruption, which usually does not take place as openly and as unashamedly as does petty corruption.[2]But how can "international actors" have so much relevance to a country's domestic national integrity system as to be a significant part of it?.

Civil society
Civil society has never been in the public eye so much as it is today. The political and economic upheavals following the end of the Cold War have profoundly affected the distribution of power. Previously, states had claimed a monopoly on power under the guise of state sovereignty, today that authority is in decline. Now, power is increasingly being claimed or contested by globalize business and by civil society. Around the world, "soft law" in the form of guidelines and recommendations are emerging as a wide-ranging body of global practice, not yet with the force of international law, but which states ignore only at their own peril..

Independent and Free Media
Independent and Free Media Without information there is no accountability. Information is power, and the more people who possess it, the more power is distributed. Access to information on the part of the people is fundamental to a nation's integrity system. Without it, democratic structures cannot operates they should, and individuals are left unable to enforce their rights--perhaps not even knowing that their rights have been infringed. The principal vehicle for taking information to the public is an independent and free media..

Local Government
Local Government As the world becomes increasingly urbanized, the role of municipal governments becomes correspondingly more important. In many developing countries for instance, the urban population has surpassed the number of rural dwellers. According to a recent United Nations' estimate the number of Asian cities of more than one million inhabitants will grow from 359 in 1990, to903 in 2015, which means that their number will have nearly trebled within the space of 25 years.

Public Service
Public Service to Serve the Public The constitutional and practical role of the public service is to assist the duly constituted Government in formulating policies, carrying out decisions and in administering public services for which they are responsible. Constitutionally, all administrations form part of the state and, subject to the provisions of the constitution, civil servants owe their loyalty to the department in which they serve. Civil servants should administer their organizations recognizing..

Independent Anti-Corruption
Agencies As the corrupt grow more sophisticated, conventional law enforcement agencies are becoming less able to detect and prosecute complex corruption cases. Furthermore, in a system in which corruption is endemic, conventional law enforcement mechanisms may themselves harbor corrupt officials

What can the ordinary citizen
The Ombudsman What can the ordinary citizen do when things go wrong? When grievances arise, and complaints about government bureaucracy fall on deaf ears? One option is to turn to the legal system, but even when the legal system is operating in accordance with the law, the courts tend to be slow, expensive, public and far from user-friendly..

Surveys as Tools
Surveys as Tools--Measuring Progress Surveys as tools and commonality of interest among its perpetrators, corruption levels are extremely difficult to measure. There is no such equations the one that enables us to assess the size of an iceberg by the volume of the tip that we can see protruding above the waves

Competition Policy
Competition Policy and Containing Corruption The fight against corruption does not, of course, take place only within the public sector, or only where the public sector and the private sector do business in the form of public procurement. It takes place, too, within private sector organizations and in areas governed by a country's" competition policy"..