Is the term “Anti-graft” an Oxymoron in Some Countries?
By Trevor Taylor, Marketing –
In a recent Wall Street Journal article I read, the comments section below the article said, “Some headlines are just not to be believed.”
Admittedly, the headline “Mexican Lawmakers Pass Anti-graft Bill” isn’t an easy headline to get excited about, considering the history of corruption in the country. But maybe it’s time we put a little faith in humanity.
A Step in the Right Direction
WSJ reports that Mexico’s legislative body, the lower house, has been working hard to revamp the country’s historically corrupt legislation. Due to some recent advances, it actually looks like there might be some light at the end of the tunnel. Essentially, the lower house has voted on anti-corruption measures that would give substantial powers to an independent federal audit office for administrative offenses. The vote passed by a staggering 409 to 24. The overwhelming victory further exposes Mexico’s increasing frustration with corruption, a problem that has plagued the country for the past 50 years.
The bill is also expected to pass in the Senate, but will need to be ratified by the majority vote of the Mexican legislature before it becomes official. It is estimated that the process will take about a year before any constitutional changes actually take place.
In the past, Mexico’s solution to the fight against corruption has—ironically—been a corrupt one; government watchdogs were chosen to watch over the same people they were appointed by—the president and state governors. With the new bill, however, Mexico would have an unprecedented system of checks and balances to keep corruption at bay.
Despite the bright outlook, experts and common citizens alike are still wary on Mexico’s progress. Recent polls indicate that corruption is currently Mexico’s main concern, with nine percent of its GDP getting sucked away corrupt government officials each year.
Is there any real reason to believe that Mexican lawmakers are making progress against corruption? Will changing Mexican legislature actually make a difference? According to Eduardo Bohorquez, the head of a non-profit organization fighting for government transparency, “this is a positive reform that goes in the right direction, but it’s just the first stone of a building that will take decade to complete”.
Tools for the Fight Against Corruption
Perhaps another building block in the fight against corruption is the tool government agencies and corporations use to detect deceptive behavior. A start-up company based in Salt Lake City, Utah is working with Mexican authorities to screen corrupt employees with the help of a new solution for lie detection called EyeDetect®.
Created by the developers of the original polygraph test, EyeDetect offers a newer, faster, cheaper and more effective way of detecting deception than ever before. It is already assisting the people of Mexico by helping officials identify dishonest employees and government workers.
Equipped with the right tools, and fueled by the desire of the Mexican people to end corruption once and for all, the light at the end of the tunnel may prove to be a little closer than we think.