The recently proposed “Dymovsky’s Law”, part of Russian
President Dimitry Medvedev’s agenda to halt Russia’s endemic corruption problem, is apparently DESIGNED not to be effective, according to Ed Hancox in The Mantle. Rather than punish corrupt cops, the new law would allow sanctions to be taken against those police officers who make detrimental statements, in public, concerning their superiors – such as accusing them of taking bribes!

The average size of a bribe in Russia nearly tripled between
2008 and 2009 and officials there accepted a whopping $33.5 billion in bribes from Russian companies last year, according to a new Russian government report cited in the St. Petersburg Times….

There is still concern about the notorious ‘‘dark’’ side of
Russian business affairs, which includes a range of activities that could be regarded as violations of universal codes of human integrity, including extortion and flagrant breach of contract. The Russian phrase ‘nel’zya, no mozhno’ (prohibited, but possible) sums up the attitude of getting around the ‘official system’ where “nothing is legal, but everything is possible”…

From Sanda Ionescu
The Culture Broker
has been in the headlines quite a bit lately, usually with negative connotations.  And while it is true that the bureaucratic system is heavily overloaded and that the level of debt is unsustainable, some of the other perceptions of Greek business practices or the average Greek worker are not justified.  As a friend of mine who recently went to Greece (to set up a joint venture) was stunned to find.  Let me just share with you some of his preconceptions and some of his myth-busting moments of realisation…

Bribery & Corruption: how things get done around the world.

cpi sml

Since 1995, Transparency Internationl have produced a comparision of 180 countries by their perceived levels of corruption. Denmark is seen to be the least and Somalia the most corrupt currently. Check out your country’s perceived level of corruption.

Ask yourself these questions about corruption:

  • What is it?
  • Can you find reasons to justify it?
  • Where do you think the money/gifts go?
  • Why could people from a ‘corrupt’ society be suspicious of you?

Difficult questions to answer as your answers depend on the culture you are accustomed to. The trouble is, what is considered corruption in one country is perfectly acceptable in another. Also, we tend to ‘judge’ other countries by our own experiences and norms. When working in the Middle East, I was amazed to learn that those who come from a culture where ‘oiling the wheels’ (bribery) is comon place look suspiciously on those that do not adhere to that practice. They find it difficult to understand the motivation behind someone whose purpose is to carry out their job well – because it’s their job.

Read about my experiences below and check out the Corruption Perception Index to see how corrupt your country is perceived to be in relation to the rest of the world.