Corruption an ‘infinite game’ that may never be won, says CIPFA fraud expert

25 Sep 18

The world may never win the fight against corruption but governments must ensure they stay on top of issues, CIPFA’s head of counter fraud training has said. 

Les Dobie said the world may never “beat the problem of corruption” and should think of the problem as an “infinite game” rather than a short-term fight that can be won. This should be the way the profession thinks about counter-corruption, he told CIPFA’s international conference in Abu Dhabi.

“You may defeat the current players, but new players will come in. No matter how many structures and controls we put in place, they will be defeated,” he said.

Dobie also said governments needed to create the conditions where people were not tempted to fall into corruption in the first place “and know they can live a good life without doing it”.

Dobie added that education and training plays a key role in getting ahead in the fight on corruption.

Most of the recent scandals, including the Paradise Papers, were brought into the spotlight through whistle blowers putting “vast amounts of data into the public domain”, he said.

Because of this, organisations need to enable a “proper whistleblowing environment” where people can confidently raise concerns.

Earlier this year the International Federation of Accountants told PF International public sector accountants were key players in the war on corruption and money-laundering.

According to the International Monetary Fund, bribery alone costs the global economy nearly $2 trillion every year – approximately 2% of global GDP.

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