Essay On Policy Issues
Type of paper: Essay
Topic: Social Issues, Crime, Corruption, White Collar Crime, Video, Bribery, Theory, Public
The content of the video involves property crime. Property crimes are offenses that lead to taking or stealing of property and do not cause any physical harm or violence. A good example of property crime is fraud, bribery, corruption and embezzlement. As stated in the video, bribery is worth about a trillion dollars per annum where over 500 companies and agencies are involved. The case discussed in the video is the British Aerospace (BAE) Systems that involved the United States, United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia governments in the Al-Yamamah arms deal (Bergman, 2009).
In my opinion, one of the causal factors of bribery and corruption mentioned include competition by corporations and multinationals. Another causal factor I deduced from the video is oligarchy by the monarchies. Appointment of princes from the royal Saudi family to key government positions leads to cover up and propagates corruption since the princes are unquestionable. In addition, power and intimidation from high ranks in authority leads junior officials in participating in the corruption. This is because junior officers or subjects are not in any position to oppose and prevent
Budgetary issues are mentioned in the video. In my view, the agencies involved in the fight of corruption are either understaffed or face challenges in gathering evidence or information against corrupt officials. For example, as mentioned in the video, most agencies rely on tips and information provided by the members of the public about bribery and corruption incidences. They do not have enough resources allocated to them, technological know-how and the relevant expertise required to effectively combat the vice. On the other hand, multinationals have a way of concealing corruption and bribery in the budgetary expenditures (Graaft, 2007). Cover-up accounts are reported in the budgets as well as improper invoices that conceal inappropriate transactions. This makes it hard to prosecute company officials involved in bribery. Corporations and officials always find a way to manoeuvre and hide bribery and corruption practices. This means there will be no end to corruption.
A few recommendations have been made in the video to address corruption and bribery. One suggestion is the cooperation between the governments to investigate and prosecute the individuals involved. It proposes an inter-governmental approach and taskforces that can come to one conclusion and one stance on the matter. This could be of great help since individual states are differing in indictments and acquittals of the officials that were involved in the arms deal. Another recommendation given is public transparency between transactions that involve large sums of money and governments. This would avail relevant details for public scrutiny and discourage underhand dealings. Additionally, stiffer sentences and penalties are also proposed in order to discourage corporations in engaging in malpractices.
Economic and Social implications of corruption were mentioned in the video. Notably, federal and government officials are also involved in international corruption rings. Slush funds are setup which avail funds for embezzlement. This results in the loss of public funds as well as tax evasion which reduces government revenues. The social fabric and morals are also eroded by acts of corruption. Blackmails and intimidation are evils that are brought about due to corruption. Also noted is the stigma faced by individuals who participate in bribery. They live in constant fear of getting caught. It can also be seen that the lavish lifestyle enjoyed by the Saudi prince Bandar creates restlessness among citizens because of the knowledge that his wealth is derived from corruption.
It could be noted that there have been actions aimed at cracking down corruption by the three governments involved in the scandal. Congress passed the Foreign Corruption Practices Act in 1977 to prosecute all officials found dealing with bribery and corruption internationally (Graaft, 2007). The Securities and Exchange Committee (SEC) has also tightened the noose in its scrutiny of audit reports by government agencies. In the U.K, a special agency called the Serious Fraud Office (S.F.O) has been tasked with the investigations of corruption scandals in Britain. Unfortunately, it seems as though these agencies are only able to successfully crackdown on individuals and companies involved in small amounts corruption.
The first criminological theory that clearly comes to mind from the video is the public choice theory of corruption. In this theory, the corrupt individual is the primary focus and main cause of corruption (Nicholas & Kristy, 2015). It mainly states that an individual engages in the act of corruption because they perceive benefits or advantages that outweigh the disadvantages. The second theory that can be derived in the video is the organizational culture theory of corruption. It assumes that the culture in the field of profession could leads to a particular mental state or accepted norm in professional practice. According to the video report, multinational corporation’s officials believe in bribery and corruption in order to stay ahead of competition with rivals.
The last criminological theory in the video involves government officials and various political administrators. In the ethos of public administration theory, people in the political class believe in engaging in bribery to get deals or favours done and implemented. They all exhibited group behaviour and culture of believing that corruption necessary and it was not a crime (Nicholas & Kristy, 2015). In the video, some powerful politicians and cabinet ministers from the United States, United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia are involved in mega corruption deals. This means that corruption and bribery could be intergovernmental or international corruption.
Bergman, L. (2009, December 16). Black Money - Films on Demand [Video file]. Retrieved from http://digital.films.com/play/MC2MTM
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Graaft, G. (2007). Causes of Corruption: Towards A Contextual Theory of Corruption. Public
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Nicholas, W. & Kristy, H. (2015). Applying criminological theory to academic fraud. Journal
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