Corruption in Australia has become an issue of concern as it has been affecting the economic growth and reputation. There has been increased scandals in public sector due to the increase in corruption in the government offices. Various sectors in Australia have been affected by the issues of corruption where the funds that could have been used for offering services to the people are lost in corruption. The lack of integrity in most of the government offices is leading to damage of the reputation of Australia where the capabilities of the country to achieve economic development has been affected by the increased issues of corruption. The issues of corruption in Australia have been taking various forms where the officers in the public and private offices are looking for opportunities of getting bribe (Bowman and Gilligan, 2007). For instance, procurement officials have been not awarding contracts with full knowledge of the contractors creating the possibility of awarding a contract to a criminal who later gain control. Some business structures are difficult to realize the true owner of the firm leading to awarding a tender to businesses that are controlled by terrorists. This has failed the efforts of Australian government to disrupt the flow of money to the terrorists aiming at helping in eradicating terrorism. The awarding of the contracts to the criminals can be associated with the lack of due diligence as some of the contractors do bribe to be awarded the contracts hence leading to financing the terrorists without knowing.
Lack of ethics in the operations of businesses in Australia can be associated with the increased issues of corruption and bribing to win tenders. The issue of foreign bribery has increased in the Australian companies as the foreign companies do bribe to be awarded contracts making the officials awarding the contracts award the contracts without making the necessary considerations. Many investors in Australia are said to entail in corrupt deals to get access to certain favors from the Australian government officials. This has led to the compromise of the quality issues of the services offered the contracts. The lack of transparency in issuing the tenders and contracts has led to wastage of public funds because of issues tenders to people who cannot deliver to the expected standards of services. As a result, the Australian government has lost funds that could have been used for better projects to improve the lives of the Australian and ensure economic development (Herzfeld and Weiss, 2003). The legal systems has also been said to be unjust in the process of dealing the corrupt politician and government officials. The leaders who are expected to ensure protection of the public funds are the ones stealing from their people through corruption and bribery. The legal system in Australia has not been effective in the process of dealing with the government officials and politicians who are found corrupt. The legal systems has been allowing the rich avoid the obligations that they are expected to discharge leading to increase in the corrupt acts as the corrupt leaders are failing to reveal their wealth.
The wealthy elites are said to participate in harming the public interests by engaging in corrupt deals that do waste e public fund. The fund that is dedicated to providing basic services to the citizens are lost in the corrupt hands of individuals leading to poor services to the citizens or even no service at some instance are offered as the funds get lost in the pockets of the corrupt officials (McAllister, 2014). The government seem to have been aware of the corruption that has been rampant but it has been silent on dealing with the corrupt officials. The corruption climate in Australia can be largely associated with the politics as the corrupt politicians are undermining the efforts of eradicating corruption in the country.
The sustainability of the international business can be guaranteed through establishing ethical standards that need to government the operations of the business. The lack of proper implementation of the ethical standard in operations can be associated with the increased corruption issues in the management of business in both the private and public sector. Corruption in Australia has been taking different forms that are sometimes hard to detect where the parties involved in the corrupt activities are mostly the government officials. The complexity of the corruption has been giving the corrupt fellows the chance to escape the legal action. However, it is clear that the legal systems has not been serious in the process of taking legal action against the individuals who are misusing the public funds (Hindess, 2004). The corruption perception of the international transparency is mainly focused on the abuse of the funds that are dedicated to serve the public by offering services for the citizens. This entails the use of the political power to control the way the public resources are utilized aiming at ensuring some private gains at expense of the welfare of the citizens. Economic development of a country can be slowed by the increase of corruption among its officials as the funds that are allocated for other activities find their way to pockets of individuals through corruption.
Tax evasion has been one of the complex form of corruption in Australia where some individuals are failing to pay taxes. The failure of paying taxes has led to losing of huge of funds that the country could use in development project resulting in slowing down of the economic growth. The tax authorities are said to collaborate with the individuals to escape the payment of taxes where they are given a bribe instead of paying taxes. Also, there has been increase in the corrupt activities of the process of collecting taxes where the individuals collecting taxes pocket some of the collected taxes leading to lack of transparency in the process of collecting taxes. Therefore, lack of ethics in the public offices are attributable to the increased corruption in Australia where the government officials and political leaders are not ethical in their operations leading to loss of a lot of government funds (McAllister, 2014). Besides, the failure to consider the welfare of the citizens has made the political leaders fail to ensure proper use of the government funds dedicated to provide basic services to the citizens.
Australia has been losing its reputation due to the increased corrupt activities associated with the MNCs and the lax legal enforcements. The government has been reluctant to combat the increasing issues of corruption where the Australian agencies responsible for enforcing the law has failed to manage corruption activities in the country. Australia has been facing serious cases concerning corruption that have made the external community have a negative perception of the Australian government towards managing the public funds. For instance, there was corruption that was investigated in transport industry of Australia that was associated with the procurement of the infrastructure works in Victoria. The public officials were being influenced by the political leaders to favor certain firms in the process of allocating contracts in the transport sector without disclosing their interests in the firms (Williams, 2009). The corruption in the transport sector made Australia be removed from the top countries in the list of the transparency international where they were among the top ten nations globally in the corruption perception index as per the assessment of the international transparency. International transparency is the body that has been responsible for providing the list of the countries that are least corrupt globally.
The reputation of Australia has gone down considering the inability of the country to ensure efficiency in the use of the public resources. The government officials have been failing to ensure proper vetting process of the suppliers as some of the public officials have some interests leading to failure of carrying out the necessary vetting of the suppliers. The failure to follow the necessary step in the process of awarding tenders and contracts has led to increasing in corruption in the procurement process. Besides, Australia has been failing in ensuring that they do not award contracts to firms that are linked with terrorists due to the failure to implement the laws that do govern the process of awarding contracts. This has led to damage to the reputation of Australia as it has failed to ensure that terrorism is combated through the established counter-terror financing laws (McAllister, 2014). Awarding the firms linked with terrorism results in continued terrorism activities as the terrorists can be able to fund their activities. This is considered to be against the efforts of ensuring terrorism is eliminated globally. The government is expected to ensure that there are adequate integrity checks that can assist in tracing the ownership of the firms before awarding the tenders.
The corruption scandals that have been witnessed in Australia has greatly affected the reputation of the country making the international community changes its perception about the situation of corruption in Australia. As per the previous listing of the international transparency, Australia has been viewed as among the ten countries that are committed to fighting corruption, but the recent scandals have changed this perception making Australia among the most corrupt countries. The perception of Australia is a corrupt nation has significant impacts on the perception of the foreign investors who now think to win a contract in Australia one has to engage in corruption. This is a bad reputation where even when the contract is given in a fair way after vetting process the other interested parties are likely to think that the firm that is awarded the contract must have corrupted (Williams, 2009). This is a situation that Australia has to work towards restoring its original perception among the international community as a corruption free country. The government has been declaring war against corruption, but it has failed to implement the necessary policies geared towards eliminating corruption. It has been formulating the necessary policies to eliminate corruption without putting the necessary efforts of implementing the policies as result corruption has persisted. The government needs then to ensure that there is the amendment in the procurement processes to ensure that the suppliers are properly vetted to avoid funding terrorists to carry out their criminal activities.
There is the need for the Australian government to overhaul Aus-corruption law aiming at ensuring that the MNCs are made ethically responsible. Making the MNCs ethical can be crucial in the process of reducing corruption issues. This can be possible through providing education concerning the effects of corruption on the economic performance of the country. Besides, ensuring the implementation of the law established can be possible through maintaining the independence of the legal systems. There is the need to implement the laws and regulations that can ensure that corruption issues are limited in Australia. The MNCs need to be made more ethical and responsible for the corruption acts. However, many laws government ethics in operations of businesses have been put in place in Australia, but the government is reluctant to implement (Heilbrunn, 2004). As a result, there is the need to ensure effective implementation of the set laws to ensure that organizations are responsible for their actions. This can be possible through ensuring that the legal system is independent in the process of executing its mandate in the process of dealing with the issues of corruption. In the past, the legal systems have been influenced by the political leaders resulting in persistence of corruption and failure to ensure full implementation of the set laws governing issues of ethics in operations.
The government seriousness of dealing with the corruption issues in Australia can be realized through reforming the legal system to deal with corruption in a better way. The current legal system in Australia has been manipulated by the political leaders who are corrupt adding to failure to deal with the corruption. The government needs to ensure that the necessary bodies that deal with corruption are given the required powers to ensure corruption is eliminated without any influence from the corrupt leaders. This can be crucial in the process of ensuring that there is integrity among the government officials that can ensure that the official do operate in a way that is ethical. For instance, the laws governing procurement in the public sector are clearly established, but most of the government officials have not been willing to adhere the procurement rules (Cameron, et al. 2005). The simple reason as to why the officials have not been following the procurement law can be attributed to their desire to engage in corruption activities. As a result, there is the need to ensure full implementation of such laws where the government auditors have to be given their independence of providing their opinion concerning the use of public funds. Besides, the auditors need to be ethical in the process of providing their opinion concerning the use of the public resources where they are expected to be sincere and fair in their opinions.
The government can ensure that independent fraud and corruption investigators are engaged in the process of ensuring that corruption is properly dealt with in the country. This can be one of the effective approaches to dealing with corruption as dealing with the corruption internally can fail to achieve the set objectives as the same government officials are the ones who are corrupt hence they cannot be in a position to handle the issues of corruption adequately. Besides, there is the need for the Australian government to ensure that various policies are adopted in the process of eliminating corruption that can include creating some overnight roles from independent bodies to monitor the corruption and fraud in the government (Larmour and Grabosky, 2010). However, the government has established a Senate committee for examining the integrity in the use of the government resources, but the committee has failed to achieve the set objectives. The government needs to ensure that it is committed to ensuring integrity among its officials through establishing anti-corruption and integrity authorities internally to ensure that there are reforms in the government use of the public resources. Establishing the internal anti-corruption authorities can assist in ensuring that the leaders are ethical in the process of using the public resources.
The lack of implementation of the bribery laws in Australia can be associated with the failure of the police to ensure sufficient investigation of the allegations. The government has not shown the necessary commitment to dealing with the increased cases of corruption in the country. The failure of the government in the process of dealing with corruption has made its reputation in the international community to be of great concerns. Many scandals are being witnessed in the public sector associated with procurement and awarding of tender as the government officials are looking for ways of enriching themselves. Besides, the political leaders have been intimidating the legal systems in the process of handling corruption cases. Corruption affects the economic growth of a country and results in misuse of the public resources. Besides, due to the failure in the process of awarding tenders infrastructure development has been slow and quality compromised. Therefore, Australian government needs to take the necessary strategies to ensure that corruption is eliminated.
Bowman, D. and Gilligan, G., 2007. Public awareness of corruption in Australia. Journal of Financial Crime, 14(4), pp.438-452.
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Herzfeld, T. and Weiss, C., 2003. Corruption and legal (in) effectiveness: an empirical investigation. European Journal of Political Economy, 19(3), pp.621-632.
Heilbrunn, J.R., 2004. Anti-corruption commissions: Panacea or real medicine to fight corruption. World Bank Institute, Washington, DC. The Many Faces of Corruption.
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Williams, R., 2009. Democracy, development and anti‐corruption strategies: Learning from the Australian experience. Journal of Commonwealth & Comparative Politics, 37(3), pp.135-148.