Founded in 1993 in Germany,Transparency Internationalwas arguably the first explicitly anti-corruption NGO in the world. At that time, corruption was considered taboo. Most businesses classified bribes as “business expenses” on their tax returns and international agencies accepted that corruption would cost billions of dollars in development funding worldwide. Since then, TI has endeavored to measure and expose corruption, work with civil society, companies, and regulators to end it, and ultimately price corruption into the cost of doing business so as to enforce measures against it and use business arguments to stop it. Today, TI has dozens of national chapters worldwide.

Among its manyinnovationshave been theCorruption Perceptions Index(CPI), ranking countries on the perception of corruption in the public sector; advocating forOrganisation for Economic Co-operation and Development(OECD) countries to adopt, join, and enforce theConvention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions;the development of theWolfsberg Anti-Money Laundering Principles(better known as “Know Your Customer [KYC]);” advocating for passage of the U.N. Convention against Corruption (UNCAC); and pioneering work on issues ranging from beneficial ownership registries to tracking corruption in climate finance.

Insofar as capture is concerned, one of TI’s most relevant innovations has been to include State capture “by narrow vested interests” as part of theCorruption Perceptions Index Technical Methodologyas one of 13 data sources that experts and business executives provide regarding corruption in the public sector. The importance of this lies in the public communication power of the CPI, which is regarded worldwide as among the best reliable indicators of country-level corruption.

These arethree of TI’s most relevant studieson capture, as follows:

  • State Capture: An Overview”: Tackling State capture necessitates reforms and improvements across institutions and in the internal structure of the political system, as well as a complete re-think of the relationship between the State and business. The strategies to address it should include:
    • Enhancing the accountability of political leaders:This includes Transparency in political financing; Conflict of interest rules; and Lobbying regulations.
    • Ensuring a competitive private sector:This includes Economic policy liberalization; Enhancing greater competition; Regulatory reform; and Corporate governance.

  • State Capture in Asia Pacific”:
    • “Given the complexity of the phenomenon of state capture, there are no simple solutions to prevent it. Rather, reducing the risks of state capture requires addressing the problem from different angles: the motivation for the capture, how it happens and the characteristics of the governance environment that might increase the opportunities for the capture to occur. Hellman (no date) states that reforms to deal with the problem of state capture need to target the buyers of influence (mostly firms), the sellers of influence (public officials) and the structure of the market in which they interact (the policymaking process). Some anti-capture measures are:”
      • Increase competition in the market
      • Open the policymaking process to wider consultation in the formulation, review and decisions on laws and regulations
      • Increase the mandate of judicial control over capture
      • Create consumer empowerment programmes
      • Create legitimate forms of influence
      • Address the interaction between State capture and administrative corruption
      • Strengthen meritocratic and independent and accountable institutions

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