A couple weeks back, I said I was thinking about trying to collect and collate the ever-increasing number of commentaries on the relationship between corruption and the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. Several readers wrote to encourage me to continue, so I’m doing another update. I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to keep this up, since commentaries in on the corruption-coronavirus connection, like the virus itself, seem to be growing at an exponential rate. I certainly don’t make any claims to comprehensiveness (and thus I beg the forgiveness of anyone whose contributions I’ve neglected to include in the list below). But here are some new pieces I came across, followed by a chronological list of corruption-coronavirus commentaries to date:
- Transparency International (TI) has a March 31 a piece called “Corruption Could Cost Lives in Latin America’s Response to the Coronavirus,” which focuses mainly on corruption risks in the public procurement process (including conflicts of interest and improper favoritism).
- On April 1, the National Endowment for Democracy published an interview (conducted by Melissa Aten) with Drew Sullivan, the editor and co-founder of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), on “How COVID-19 Will Impact Transnational Kleptocracy and Independent Media.”
- Claudia Baez Carmago, the Head of Governance Research at the Basel Institute on Governance, has an April 1 piece on “Rethinking Governance in the Times of the COVID-19 Pandemic,” which reflects more broadly on how the pandemic should cause us to reflect on the concept of governance, and suggests some of the main lessons about governance that we can draw.
- Bruno Brandão and Eduardo Bohórquez, the Executive Directors of TI Brazil and TI Mexico respectively, have a piece from April 2 on the Transparency International site entitled “During the Coronavirus Pandemic, We Must Act Together To Protect Life-Saving Resources from Corruption.” The piece identifies three priority areas for anticorruption activists during the pandemic (addressing emergency public procurement risks, oversight of rescue/stimulus packages, and securing institutional frameworks for access to information, accountability, and civic space).
- Jeff Cortese, the former acting chief of the FBI’s Financial Crimes Unit, published an April 6 opinion piece in The Hill entitled “COVID-19 and the Coming Corruption Pandemic,” which draws on his professional experience with prior disasters in outlining some of the most significant risks for corruption in the COVID-19 response.
- Professor Mike Koehler has an April 6 post on his FCPA Professor blog on “The Impact of COVID-19 on FCPA Enforcement.”
- Tammy Kupperman Thorp has an April 6 column in Foreign Policy titled “To Defeat the Coronavirus, Stop Corruption,” which emphasizes the importance of adopting safeguards in emergency relief programs to prevent fraud and corruption.
- Yesterday (April 13), Sarah Steingrüber published a new post here on GAB on “Measures to Counter Corruption in the Coronavirus Pandemic Response”; this post follows up on her earlier (March 31) post, moving from diagnosis of the major corruption risks to suggestions for how to counter those risks.
Adding these in, the commentaries I’ve got so far (in chronological order of publication) are:
- Gretta Fenner & Monica Guy, “Did Corruption Cause the Deadly Coronavirus Outbreak?” (FCPA Blog post, January 30, 2020)
- Rebecca Rohr, “Addressing Anti-Corruption Risks from the Coronavirus” (Corporate Counsel blog post, March 4, 2020)
- Natalie Rhodes, “Coronavirus: The Perfect Incubator for Corruption in Our Health Systems? 7 Key COVID-19 Points To Consider” (Transparency International article, March 13, 2020).
- Natalie Rhodes, “Corruption and the Coronavirus: How To Prevent the Abuse of Power During a Global Health Pandemic” (Transparency International article, March 18, 2020) (expanded version of Ms. Rhodes’ March 13 piece, listed above)
- Abigail Bellows, “Coronavirus Meets Corruption: Recommendations for U.S. Leadership” (Carnegie Endowment post, March 20, 2020)
- Jodi Vittori, “Corruption Vulnerabilities in the U.S. Response to Coronavirus” (Carnegie Endowment post, March 20, 2020)
- Shruti Shah & Alex Amico, “Ensuring Adequate Accountability, Transparency, and Anticorruption Measures During the Pandemic” (Global Anticorruption Blog post, March 24, 2020)
- Roy Poses, “The Ultimate Conflict of Interest: Trump Organization Revenue vs Lives Lost to Coronavirus” (Health Care Renewal blog post, March 24, 2020)
- Sarah Steingrüber, Monica Kirya, David Jackson & Saul Mullard, “Corruption in the Time of Covid-19: A Double-Threat for Low Income Countries” (U4 Basic Guide, March 27, 2020)
- Sarah Steingrüber, “Coronavirus and the Corruption Outbreak” (Global Anticorruption Blog post, March 31, 2020)
- Transparency International, “Corruption Could Cost Lives in Latin America’s Response to the Coronavirus” (Transparency International article, March 31, 2020)
- Drew Sullivan, “Forum Q&A: Drew Sullivan on How COVID-19 Will Impact Transnational Kleptocracy and Independent Media” (National Endowment for Democracy Forum post, April 1, 2020)
- Claudia Baez Carmago, “Rethinking Governance in the Times of the COVID-19 Pandemic” (Basel Institute on Governance, April 1, 2020)
- Bruno Brandão and Eduardo Bohórquez, “During the Coronavirus Pandemic, We Must Act Together To Protect Life-Saving Resources from Corruption” (Transparency International article, April 2, 2020).
- Jeff Cortese, “COVID-19 and the Coming Corruption Pandemic” (The Hill, April 6, 2020).
- Mike Koehler, “The Impact of COVID-19 on FCPA Enforcement” (FCPA Professor blog post, April 6, 2020).
- Tammy Kupperman Thorp, “To Defeat the Coronavirus, Stop Corruption” (Foreign Policy, April 6, 2020)
- Sarah Steingrüber, “Measures to Counter Corruption in the Coronavirus Pandemic Response” (Global Anticorruption Blog post, April 13, 2020)
If you know of useful pieces on the corruption-coronavirus link, which I should include in my next update (assuming I keep doing this), please send me a note.
Thanks everyone, and stay safe.