No matter how clearly we may be able to see the social consequences of corruption, it can be very difficult to detect and eradicate.
Corruption can take root in many areas of society, including within the institutions of government and law enforcement, in political parties, in the media, and in private businesses.
And since corruption undermines the aims of human development and the very principles of social equity and inclusion, UNDP is strongly committed to helping the country tackle the problem. Ensuring good governance that is democratic, accountable, transparent and corruption-free is, after all, a long-term goal of UNDP.
The project I’m working on is working with municipalities to introduce integrity systems. It began with the signing of anti-corruption policies by the mayors of nine municipalities (Aerodrom, Brvenica, Gevgelija, Gostivar, Kocani, Kratovo, Petrovec, Strumica, and Veles).
Integrity systems include all the policies, rules and procedures established within a municipality to reduce the risks of corruption and to promote ethical behaviour in ways that are visible and accessible to all those within the organization and to citizens.
In addition to the clear commitment made by the top management of the municipalities in publicly signing anti-corruption policies, UNDP helped organize outreach activities to send a clear message to the citizens and staff of the municipalities, and to raise public awareness of the new policies and measures for the prevention of corruption, including new mechanisms for citizen-government interaction.
These activities will contribute to increased transparency in local government and reduced opportunities for corruption.
The signing of anti-corruption policies by the nine mayors marked the starting-point for systematically applying measures to increase integrity, objectivity, transparency, openness and honesty in municipalities, promoting those values in public life that will help to build better lives for all citizens.
Introducing integrity systems will also encourage citizens to report any corrupt and unethical behaviour they perceive in their municipality, thus increasing accountability and building trust among citizens in local and central government.
The overall result will be greater institutional effectiveness and policies more responsive to citizens’ expectations. Once municipalities are better equipped to address corruption, moreover, the country will become much more attractive for foreign investments.
Do you consider your mayor a person of integrity?