14 Nov 2011

Colombian Government Adopts Zero Tolerance Against Corruption

Colombia’s current administration is taking measures to fulfill its pledge to turn the fight against corruption into a main priority. However, for Miguel Francisco Prado, head of the government’s anti-corruption body, efforts to better monitor state funds and contracting procedures are needed to combat graft more effectivelly.

The government has so far focused on targeting high-profile corruption cases through investigations conducted by a special taskforce with top-level officials from enforcement agencies. According to Prado, coordination between different agencies has been working much better than expected.

This strategy appears to be successful as the number of politicians and government officials arrested on corruption charges increases. Recent examples are the conviction of a former intelligence chief for involvement with paramilitary groups and the recent arrest of Bogota’s mayor for fraud in public work contracts during his administration.

Nevertheless, Prado highlights that the government must focus more strongly on vulnerable areas, such as public contracting. He emphasizes the need to increase transparency and allow the public to better monitor the government’s procurement decisions. He also raises attention to the importance of monitoring the use of state resources, particularly in the oil and mining sector, which is similarly much vulnerable to corruption.

For the full article on trust.org, please click here.