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The other crucial element is transparency. Having access to information is a precondition for making informed decisions and holding public officials and elected leaders to account. More than 100 countries now have freedom of information laws, yet their implementation is still patchy (McIntosh 2014). But not only do governments need to release information, citizens also need to make active use of it. This combination of information and activism can be a potent tool.

The first is . It was used to keep non-Europeans out of Australia.

You have 60 minutes to complete two writing tasks. ,

In the end, what decided the issue for Mr Lee Kuan Yew, our founding Prime Minister, and his team, was the overriding need to prevent the public service from going corrupt. One term of an incompetent, corrupt government and Humpty Dumpty could never be put together again. So the PAP fought to win and formed the Government. When they took their oath of office, Mr Lee and his PAP colleagues wore white shirts and white trousers. It symbolised their determination to keep the Government clean and incorruptible. That set the tone for Singapore ever since.

To give you something to gauge yourself by, . It begins,

The country faced a myriad of problems: poverty, poor public health, an acute housing shortage, a stagnant economy and an exploding population. Did the PAP want to inherit these overwhelming problems? Why not become a strong opposition party, and let another party govern and fail?

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Ministry of Justice. 2016a. Waitangi Tribunal. Available .

European Commission. 15 July 1997. Agenda 2000 – Commission Opinion on Slovakia’s Application for Membership of the European Union. Brussels: European Commission. Available .

New Zealand Police. 2015. International Service Group. Available .

These conclusions are really quite simple. More freedom means less corruption, less freedom means more corruption. It’s just the same in sport. If you take away the competition and fair play, you will lose the spirit of sport. That’s what corruption does to all of our efforts, our dreams and our desires – in corrupt societies, they are thwarted and the human spirit is poorer as a result. We showed in Estonia that it doesn’t have to be like this. Together we can change it – together we can do it!

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How bad was it? How bad is it? It was bad. It’s gotten worse.

A high standard of public accountability is a critical element in preventing a culture of corruption from developing or taking hold. As we know from our own experience, when the public won’t tolerate corruption and have an expectation that their officials will be held to account, those in positions of power are less likely to abuse it. So the higher the standard of probity and accountability that figures in authority are held to, the more likely we are to prevent corruption and to detect and prosecute it when it occurs.

Associate Professor in Language, Literacy and TESL, University of Canberra

Simon, P. 1964. The Sound of Silence. New York: Columbia Records.

Angel Gurría tells us that between 1999 – the year the OECD convention tackling transnational bribery came into force – and 2014, 361 individuals and 126 companies were sanctioned for foreign bribery in 17 countries, with at least $5.4 billion imposed in combined monetary sanctions and 95 people put behind bars.

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It is ingrained in our psyche – we are a fundamentally honest people.

This focus shifted in the late 1990s to creating ways to both measure corruption and develop the tools to prevent it. Launched in 1995, Transparency International’s (TI) Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) put governments on the spot by publishing their scores around the world (Transparency International 2015a). By 2003, the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) – now ratified by 178 countries – outlined a solid framework of anti- corruption laws (UNODC 2015). This came six years after the OECD Convention Against Foreign Bribery and seven years after the ground-breaking Inter-American Convention against Corruption (OECD 1997; International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities 2012). The G20 has had an Anti-Corruption Action Plan since 2010 and the fight against corruption is now at the heart of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 16, promoting peace and justice with targets for tackling corruption (Transparency International 2015b; UN 2015).