This Week in Transparency

Every Friday my colleagues and I all send around our “PPP’s” — progress, problems, plans. At first glance it looks like corporate busywork, but in fact I’ve found it to be a useful way to stay up-to-date with our ever-growing team. From now on I’m going to adapt those emails into a weekly bulletin of links, events, research papers and books related to transparency (with a focus on Latin America).

Links

Riffing off The Economist’s December article on anti-corruption efforts, David Eaves offers a cautionary note on “What Technology Can and Cannot Do In the Fight Against Corruption“:

I for one, look forward to a world where we can worry less about a $10 bribe on a street corner in Bangkok and focus more energy on a $1.9B bribe (5 weeks’ worth of one company’s revenue) of the US attorney’s office. This of course, is what HSBC paid the US government to protect its executives from being prosecuted for laundering Mexican drug money despite overwhelming evidence. Essentially the financial sector was just told that the risk to breaking the law and supporting illegal activity is not just acceptable, it is indeed exceedingly profitable. If I told you that a private company had paid a government office of Thailand, Columbia, or Nigeria ten million dollars as penalty to avoid criminal charges you’d almost definitely call that corruption.

Alma-México, an ongoing visual almanac of Mexico, has released an info-graphic on corruption in public services in Mexico based on Transparencia Mexicana’s 2010 National Index on Corruption and Good Government:

Corrupcion en servicios publicos

The World Bank is soliciting feedback on their Open Data Readiness Assessment Tool, designed for governments considering the implementation of an open data initiative.

My Upcoming Events

Papers I Plan on Reading on an Airplane

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