Ilustra Dinamarca lucha anticorrupción


English summary:

Denmark gives lesson in transparency
Marina Franco

(11 abril 2016).- "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark" is a statement that has long ceased to be true.
The scandinavian country has topped the ranking of least corrupt countries in the world by Transparency International (TI) since 2011, largely because of the trust between the Danes, who even leave strollers unsupervised on the sidewalks.
"Everyday life becomes easier because people do not have to protect themselves against being cheated all the time (…) They trust the police, the government, the bureaucrats and the court system. People think that the State is good and will help them if needed," says Gert Tingaard Svendsen, a Danish political scientist expert on issues of social capital.
"It is unthinkable for us to ask someone or take bribes," agreed Knut Gotfredsen, director of the Danish office of Transparency International.
Only 1 percent of Danes surveyed by TI in 2013 reported having accepted a bribe, compared to 61 percent of Mexicans said they had paid a bribe to the police and 55 percent admitted having done so to a judge.
"If you bump into someone in Copenhagen and ask for directions, they will not doubt you're telling the truth. But maybe if you do the same in Mexico, you think who gives you directions is sending you who knows where.
"It's not an exact and mathematical reason, but it is the foundation of our transparent society: we trust," said Gotfredsen.
That confidence comes from a long time ago.
I 1660, the then King Frederick III introduced measures such as a civil service based solely on merit, strong punishments for those who receive gifts or misuse state funds and facilities to report those who fail to comply with their duties.
This consolidation has meant that many transparency rules do not have to be written down -Denmark does not even have an anticorruption agency-.
"If someone is corrupt -which very rarely happens-, others will tell the authorities about it and this person will be charged and the public will be informed," said Svendsen of the University of Aarhus.
In fact, the only case of corruption that experts could recall occurred last year when it was revealed that a computer company bribed officials to travel to clinch contracts.
"It was so unusual that we were all surprised," Gotfredsen said.
It was the same company, Atea, which decided to return public the police investigation. The officers involved were arrested in two months and the CEO of the company was dismissed.
"Our press monitors things very carefully, there are many audits whose findings are reported promptly. If the ombudsman recommends the government do something, even though they can not force it to happen, they almost always end up taking up their suggestions," said Gotfredsen.
But the centennial experience of Denmark should not be seen as the only condition for success in the fight against corruption.
"Distrust can be changed to trust if corruption is fought efficiently," said Svendsen.
"(If you) introduce high penalties and establish and independent anti-corruption agency where it is easy for whistleblowers to go to," said the academic, who suggested Mexican bodies like the Superior Audit of the Federation need to become and prove that they are more transparent and independent.
For now, after almost 200 years of diplomatic relations, Enrique Peña Nieto tomorrow will become the first star of a Mexican state visit to Denmark.


  • Ilustra Dinamarca lucha anticorrupción

    Marina Franco



TitelIlustra Dinamarca lucha anticorrupción
Mediets navn/udløbREFORMA INTERNACIONAL, Mexico
Producer/forfatterMarina Franco
PersonerGert Tinggaard Svendsen
Se relationer på Aarhus Universitet

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