Corruption can be symptomatic of many social ills so
the fight against it must be multifaceted. Laws and law enforcement are
indispensable, but countries serious about fighting corruption should
also reform government's role in the economy, especially in areas that
(by giving officials discretionary power) are hotbeds of corruption.
This paper has two goals. First, it lists a number of possible causes
and consequences of corruption, derived from a review and recent study
and second would be to suggest and recommendations to counter it helpful
in bringing it under control. The study results signified not only the
economic cause but also environmental causes.
Pakistan is a under developed country and there has
been a continuous discussion about the progress and economic growth.
Different perceptions are shared at national and international level
relating to the causes of corruption.
The dilemma is that there is no one reason but
numerous causes like poor transparency, unchecked economic or political
power, weak legal system, bureaucratic red tapism and the most spoken
about and major concern is corruption, in public sector.
The 2003 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) of
Transparency International has ranked Pakistan at 92th among 102
countries surveyed. The CIP score relates to a perception of the degree
of corruption as seen by business people, risk analysts and the general
Corruption has been patronized, promoted, and
protected by those who hold the destiny of this nation in their hands
resulting losses to the national exchequer. Awareness of the issue of
corruption has existed in Pakistan, as evident from anti-corruption
drives undertaken from time to time. Various rules and laws have been
framed. However these initiatives have not been very fruitful.
The focus of this study will be the public service: a
case study of public sector in Sindh. This article has two goals. First,
it lists a number of possible causes and consequences of corruption,
derived from a review and recent study and second would be to suggest
and recommendations to counter it helpful in bringing it under control.
CORRUPTION: AN OVERVIEW
"Corruption" is a term whose meaning shifts
with the speaker. But the common definition of corruption is
"misuse of public power for private or political gain,"
recognizing that "misuse" must be defined in terms of some
standard. Many corrupt activities under this definition are illegal in
most countries — for example, paying and receiving bribes, fraud,
embezzlement, self dealing, conflicts of interest, and providing a quid
pro quo in return for campaign gifts (Shani 2000)
Researchers at the World Bank estimate that worldwide
bribery totals at least $1 trillion per year, just over 3% of world
income in 2002 [Susan Rose-Ackerman1 2004]
However, pointing to the magnitude of the problem, it
does not determine the solutions. Because of the diversity of
circumstances that produce corruption and poor governance, it is
difficult to propose global approaches. Estimates of costs and benefits
are obviously only rough guesses. However, it is important not to
overlook reform possibilities in this area.
CORRUPTION WITH REFERENCE TO PAKISTAN
The term corruption in relation to society finds no
formal definition in the law of the land or for that matter, in any law
of the world. Its dictionary meaning is "the perversion of anything
form in original state of purity ". It will in that sense cover all
evils-sins included. Irrespective of definition, it is as a phenomenon,
or as a concept, familiar to all.
Corruption has been defined separately in different
rules of the government books and varies in definition and terms
included accordingly [S. Rehman 1979].
Various steps has been taken by the Government of
Pakistan to eliminate the evil of corruption. It cannot be eliminated
with without cooperation of both the public and the public office
holders. President Musharraf's government has virtually lodged war on
corruption. Good Governance and Corporate management has been introduced
to bring more transparency and to achieve efficiency. The steps were
much needed reforms and shall bear fruits.
During interview sessions the seasoned politicians
praised the reforms, however, they were of the view that the pace of
economic development needed to be geared up. It was also appreciated by
them that working on development of institutions is being concentrated
rather then individuals. Government wants to support democratic system
and more openness but is surrounded by political pundits who restricts
its free policies for personal reasons.
The Government Officers in there replies were very
critical of the present system. The lower formation and middle level
employees emphasized that corruption was and is a routine practice which
is their need. Some officers narrated their personal experiences and
provided comparison between the employees of private or semi-autonomous
departments with pure public sector organization either productive and
non-profit making bodies. They shared that they put in more working
hours or equal and inspite of that their salaries are much lower then
their counter parts.
Is is an established fact that the working
environment and salaries in private government owned corporation are
much higher then that of pure public sector organizations in Pakistan.
If we see it at international level even countries
like Singapore pays more to the public servants then those employed in
private sector for the simple reason as to make public service more
attractive and efficient.
During interview with the journalists and media men
they blamed the present system. They think that though government has
been working towards economic developments and reformation of public
sector but the entire exercise has gone a waste due to introduction of
"devolution plan". There is no system now, nobody knows which
office to go to, who to approach, so the corrupt makes more money. There
is no Authority and duplicity is prevalent, destroying the entire
mechanics and machinery of the government administrative systems.
Public review indicated that corruption has been more
structured at the top level and money is being made by the top
executives/public office holders. Since they (public) are more concerned
with day to day workings involving interactions between government
functionaries and public, in departments like license making authority,
passport offices, police, excise, customs, income tax, utility
departments so they feel the system has become more closed and complexed.
There is no transparency as such providing ample opportunity for the
corrupt to fill their pockets. The systems and procedures need to be
simplified for easy understanding and accessibility of general public.
It is very widely believed that what ever the type of
government is, corruption is there in public sector. There are two
different but related types of corruption — corruption involving
high-level officials that often implicates multinational corporations or
large domestic firms and corruption that is endemic to how the
government carries out routine activities such as tax collection,
customs, licensing and inspections. Corruption associated with public
power, as known to us, can be categorized into the following four types:
more in the nature of extortion,
Corruption in the form of payment of speed money
Corruption in the form of bribery for avoidance of or for ignoring the
Participating corruption where monetary gains or other benefits are
CAUSES OF CORRUPTION IN PUBLIC SERVICE
After talking to the people concerned, mainly civil
servants, it was found that the main causes of corruption in the country
are summarized as under:-
After independence national governments of the
country had to undertake programs of economic development, resources
available were scarce, goods and services had to be regulated/controlled
and supplies to consumers and producers had to be rationed. With these
regulations, came into existence, the system of permits licenses and
quotas. This opened the doors of black marketing.
Black money was earned by unscrupulous black. This
has repercussions over the behavior and morals of the people including
the civil servants.
Government servants are undoubtedly paid low salaries
which are not adequate for their subsistence. Rate of inflation had been
galloping since the beginning of 1970's and the inflationary pressure
had intensified to such a great extent that even the basic needs of
daily life seem to be out of approach of common consumer [Corruption
& Good Governance, Discussion paper].
The status and prestige of a person in society
depends on his material position. Persons who lack these resources are
looked down upon although they live an honest life. The following are
some of the fields of manifestation of wealth in which the people in the
society have to compete to live a respecble life:
purchase of golden ornaments.
construction of palatial bungalows.
use of new posh luxurious Cars.
Sending their children to private expensive schools with in and outside
SOCIAL & OTHER CAUSES
There is no incentive for hard-work. There is a
feeling that generally honest, sincere officials not get proper
encouragement and appreciation but are sometimes subjected to sufferings
and victimization on one or the other pretext. All this causes
frustration and even good and honest officers go astray because they are
ignorant of the philosophy of life and they do not realize that acts of
honesty, integrity and hard work being good deeds are automatically
rewarded which results in growth and development of man's oneself which
is the sole purpose of life.
There is absence of a well conceived and high powered
machinery for enforcing the norm of conduct of public functionaries in
accordance with law and inquiries relating to complaints of
maladministration. To protect and support a subordinate officer of the
department although guilty is considered to be a virtue. Public
complaints even though genuine are generally discouraged for the above
reason. This gives encouragement to corrupt practices.
ABSENCE OF ISLAMIC DEMOCRATIC SYSTEM
The ideology, the constitution and the legal
framework of the country provides Islamic democratic system of the
government. In fact, a representative constitutional government
committed to the rule of law has been in existence. Even while so, it
has not in letter and spirit attempted to observe and strengthen the
rule of law. The periodic absence or supper session of such an important
organ of State has resulted in unsymmetrical growth of our 'political
and social institutions, creating, imbalance in the distribution of
power. Within the framework of State's authority it is the power of
government, and outside it is the power of money which comes to be
recognized and valued as the only thing worth having.
ABSENCE OF PARLIAMENTARY CONTROL
In a modern state, democratic action is possible only
through the instrumentality of bureaucratic organism, yet bureaucratic
power, if it is not properly controlled is self-destructive of democracy
and its values. The Parliament which occupies the position of king-pin
in any system of public accountability has not played its role in
establishing or evolving institutions. The result is that the
institutions have gone outside their defined jurisdiction and played
role which does not belong to them.
ROLE OF ISLAM
The religion of Islam if followed in spirit and
substance would be undoubtedly the best weapon in any fight against
corruption in society. Unfortunately, due to general perversion of
social value system, the tendency is otherwise. There are instances of
encroachers and trespassers on government land erecting or establishing
a mosque on a small portion of the trespassed property and obtaining
social recognition condonation and protection for the wrong and its
perpetuation against law enforcing agency, even though such a mosque
interfere with a project.
The sub culture of the country including the
administration is some what personalized rather than institutionalized.
The result is that individual's success or failure comes to make or mar
the institutions and systems. Every one looks to individuals rather than
institutions or systems for improvement, redress or remedy. The laws are
at times so framed as to have an individual in view, either directed
against his vested rights or aimed at further entrenching his individual
rights and privileges relegating the institution or system to an
inconsequential or insignificant place. This attitude or tendency has
the misfortune of encouraging personal loyalties of perpetuating it to
the detriment of other higher values.
VALUES OF BUREAUCRACY
The bureaucracy must itself have a structural and a
functional norm or value system to project and to observe. The
Quaid-e-Azam in his talk to the Government officials (given on April 14,
"Each one of you will understand his own sphere
of duly and responsibility and act with others harmoniously and in
complete co-operation, keeping in mind that each has to do his duty
within the spheres to which he belongs and further that you should try
to create an atmosphere and work in such a spirit that everybody gets a
fair deal and justice is done to everybody. And not merely should
justice be done but people should (feel that justice has been done to
The top bureaucrats in particular, are unaware of
their own Constitutional obligations. It is seen that either they are
busy with their personal lives, paying least attention to their
departments which results in inefficiencies and corruption.
INDISCIPLINE AND IRRESPONSIBILITY
Scope for corruption has increased and is increasing
on account of indiscipline and irresponsibility allowed to continue
unabated in government offices and establishments. Present office timing
suits the subordinates (difficulty of transport, supplementing of income
by part time jobs after office and the officer who can once on human
plane show indulgence to his subordinates thereby suitably reducing his
own office timing. It is the public and the public interest which
For obtaining ordinary information repeated contacts
are made which results in paving the way for unfair means.
A highly potent and explosive transformation is
taking place in our society. There are emerging two groups. One
possessed of public power, or great wealth, now mostly both, and capable
of using it recklessly to their advantage and to the detriment of those
around them and the other larger group at the receiving end. The
frustration and the cynicism is so great that with regard to corruption
and abuse of authority, knowledgeable people consider the situation
hopeless and talk of shooting a few hundred, may be a thousand suspected
of such corruption, and others are talking of a bloody revolution,
considering even such shooting not sufficient. It is therefore
imperative that those wielding power should be effectively restrained
and made publicly accountable and the second group be heeded by creating
a bridge, by providing a forum, by creating an institution.
LACK OF TRANSPARENCY /OPENNESS
Mostly the government department do not allow
information access, even the non-secret files are made moved secretly
though its contents are only revealed when some body greases the palms
of the dealing hand. It is seen that people whose matter in question is
being dealt is kept ignorant about the progress of his case. Besides
rules on the subject are not made public, they are not easily accessible
such dealing destroy the bond of trust between the administrator and the
ABSENCE OF MODERN TECHNOLOGY
Due to lack of technology or unwilling for new
technology to be adopted the most of the government department have
information piled in files lying without proper care or kept in untidy
manner. To dig out or obtain such information the public has to run from
pillar to post for retrieval of such information which is impossible to
obtain without cooperation of the concerned officer which brings the
seeker in contact with the desk officer and with whose favour only the
required details would be provide.
PAY AND EMOLUMENTS
The pay structure of the Government servants is not
according to the market rate. In spite of the fact that the government
had increased their salaries still they are not in consistent with the
present levels of inflation. The salaries in private sector are much
There is no system of welfare planning for the
government officers. However some agencies like Pakistan army, navy,
Karachi port trust and others have made arrangement for the welfare
planning of their employees such as free or subsidized medical
treatment, bonus payments on eid, allotment of residential
accommodation/housing, allotment of plots etc. Such measure make public
servant more comfortable as his other worries are taken care.
It is also worth pointing out that the Government
servants leave rules are rigid. They do not have provision for
compulsory annual leave. It seems that leave becomes discretionary of
the department (Sindh Government leave rules). At times it is seen that
public servants are refused leave on the pretext that no other
substitute is available. Such refusal demoralizes the officers and their
entire plans are ruined. If no substitutes are available then efforts be
made to formalize a system in which such cases substitutes should always
be there to replace. This will strengthen the notion and policy that
every body is important and at the same time nobody is indispensable.
PERFORMANCE BASED SYSTEM
It is human nature to fight and compete when some
merit prevails and your performance is linked to reward or other
incentive. Absence of such system has made the performance of government
functionaries slow and slag. The officers who are hardworking and
meritorious find it discouraging and ultimately they all sale in the
Among the above cited causes of corruption, in my
opinion political interference is also the area of concern.
It is generally seen that when ever a that there is
change of Government or change in the political leadership or even in
key transfer and posting of Government Officials, the other officers
reach out to seek their blessing for their transfers and posting either
to there desired place or at the place or home town of that influence
person. In return, either handsome amount of money has been paid as
bribe or future commitment to sanction auctions/plots or others to his
master. Virtually the relationship of master and slave is established
and wrong doing is daily business (NASC).
BAR ON TRADE / EMPLOYMENT
The Government Servant is bared from employment
during service. He is also not allowed to do private trade or establish
partnership. If at all in public servant engages himself in such
activity he is assumed to have violated the code of conduct (Sindh
Government Conduct Rules).
In such a situation there is duplicity of law like
professional categories of government servants like doctors they are
allowed to hold private clinics after office hours only that there
private practice allowance is deducted.
There is need to review the existing rules to allow
public servant to be free so that he can look alternate opportunities to
make his both ends meet.
CONSEQUENCES OF CORRUPTION
Given the costs of corruption and poor governance,
reformers need to isolate the causes of these phenomena. Cross-country
data permit one to obtain a broad overview of the underlying causes of
corruption and weak governance. I have already mentioned the role of
income and wealth as both a cause and a consequence of corruption.
Nevertheless, it seems possible to conclude, first,
that poor governance contributes to low growth and to the other harmful
outcomes noted above, and that weak underlying economic conditions
facilitate corruption. The exception is a very poor country with weak
institutions that is so badly off that there is little for anyone to
Some studies find that trade openness and other
measures of competitiveness reduce corruption.
Inequality contributes to high levels of corruption.
In democracies in particular, inequality facilitates corruption, a
result consistent with the state capture variant of corruption. The
negative effect of inequality on growth may be the result of its impact
on corruption taken as a proxy for government weakness cost-benefit
ratios for other types of reforms will be distorted if they do not take
corruption, self-dealing, and incompetence into account. Thus, the risks
of corruption and weak administration need to be considered in assessing
proposals, for example, to limit hunger, reduce violence, or improve
education and health (You and Khagram 2004).
If top political figures themselves exploit their
position for private gain, the effectiveness of government programs and
the impact of foreign aid and lending suffer.
REMEDIES IN LAW (ANTI-CORRUPTION LAWS AND PROCEDURES)
The Governments has taken steps to penalize the
corrupt functionaries and for such purpose laws and rules have been
framed. Such issue laws are manifested to maintain check and balance
system. The following are the laws provision existing :
LIST OF LAWS APPLICABLE
Penal Code 1860 Sections 161 to 166, 168, 217, 218. 403 to 409, 417 to
420, 465 to 468, 471 and 477A.
Prevention of Corruption. Act 1947 (Act II of 1947).
Pakistan Crimin1 Law Amendment Act 1958 (Act No. XL of I 958).
Federal Investigating Agency Act 1974.
Sindh Enquiries and Anticorruption Act 1992
National accountability Ordinance 1999
LIMITATIONS OF THESE LAWS:
The following are the main defects in the enacted law
in the procedure prescribed or followed there under, which have made
their functioning unsatisfactory and disappointing. (S. Rehamn 1979)
(i) The entire
field of corruption has not been fully covered by these laws
The procedure in the matter of detection and initiation of proceedings
is too much dependent on the availability of complainant ready and
willing to, sustain the prosecution at all stages.
The entire powers of putting the anti-corruption laws into effective
operation are centralized in the authority of the Government,
This centralized power of the government is unguided, and uncontrolled
by rules or requirement. of publication and without responsibility to
(v) The Anticorruption Agencies
are not fully equipped. in the matter of personnel, resources, in the
matter of disciplinary control and in the matter of their functioning to
discharge the heavy duties entrusted to them.
Research on the causes of corruption suggests ways to
think about reform.
First, the purely economic prescriptions, taken
alone, will not succeed either in promoting growth or in improving
Macro-economic policy prescriptions presuppose a
well-functioning government, which is just what is lacking in corrupt
countries. Similar problems of simultaneity exist for trade openness and
Thus proposals to improve governance by concentrating
on economic growth, trade openness, and reductions in inequality beg the
question of how weak states could accomplish such fundamental changes.
Some features of political systems seem to promote
honest and effective government: high levels of economic freedom,
parliamentary structure, certain types of electoral institutions, and
avoidance of private capture of the state and of state capture of the
It is widely believed that Corruption factor is very
much there in public sector. It cannot be expected to whither away. As
long as officials have discretionary authority, corrupt incentives will
remain and can be especially harmful to fragile new states. Structural
and procedural reform requires a set of credible anticorruption laws
that outlaw whatever types of payments are viewed as illegal and
Both theory and practice suggest that there is no
simple response that should be adopted across the board once the basic
anticorruption statutes are in place.
The first step is to discover where corruption is
imposing the greatest cost. There are several common possibilities:
Basic institutional reforms may be needed before
particular sectors can be reformed. Especially important is improving
the checks and balances in a political system.
If civil service wages are allowed to deteriorate
relative to private sector wages and if pay differentials within the
civil service are too small to give officials an incentive to seek
promotions, then efforts to control official corruption are unlikely to
Reform policies must reduce the size of the civil
service, pay decent base salaries and establish effective carrots and
sticks that give officials incentives to be honest and perform
The lack of credible institutions capable of hearing
complaints and enforcing the law is a weakness of many developing and
transition countries. Thus one area for reform should be to improve
In view of the foregoing position, the following
suggestion are made for reduction of corruption for consideration:-
1) In spite of
all the efforts made by the Federal Government, the country is still in
the intense grip of inflation. Some more steps are needed to be adopted
till new economic order of international level is suggested.
2) A conscious
effort is needed to promote population planning. The attitude of people
in general and civil servants in particular requires to be changed. They
are to be convinced that population planning is not against religion.
The prejudice should be broken down. The education program should also
reach the masses by organizing Radio speeches, Television talks, group
discussions and seminars etc
efforts may also be needed to maintain the integrity of independent
institutions inside and outside government that play an important role
in oversight, prosecution and judgment. Because of the interrelated
character of corrupt systems, it is difficult to know where to begin a
4) The benefit
in salary be allowed to government servant irrespective of their
Understanding and more emphasis be made on Islamic laws & practices
in government business.
6) Openness of
system is required. The government has to adopt policy of openness so as
the public knows what is happening behind closed door.
projects like social security system be designed for public servants and
their families so that they can feel protection. Such project be
extended to retired employees too as it will enhance their quality of
8) Efforts are
required to make Government functioning more transparent. All Government
doings/Contacts etc be made public,
9) Use of
Modern technology is essential which will enhance operational efficiency
and bring transparency
Leave for rest and recreation be introduced. It will provide chance to
check the work of that particular seat by some other person.
Interdepartmental Committee for accountability be formed. It will
enhance operational activity and reduce high handedness unnecessary
working as Research Scholar at SZABIST - Karachi
is working as Senior Faculty Member at SZABIST - Karachi
This research study is based on consultative exercise
through primary and secondary sources. The survey method includes
interview through a semi-structured questionnaires depending upon the
nature & responsibilities of respondents. Statistics data has also
been collected from respective anticorruption agencies in the province
of Sindh. Discussions have also been held with the stake holders.
Research is linked to following directions :
style in government organizations
Public Servants life style.
Trends of cases registered against officers
In this regard interviews were conducted from:
a) Low paid
employees, Gazetted & Non Gazetted Officers.
Accused public servants.
Due to the sensitivety nature of the subject, many
interviewees specially the politician and accused officer and even
serving public servants promised for replies on the basis of anonymity,
therefore their names have not been disclosed.
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