Integrity & Honor, Corruption & Dishonor

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University of the East Graduate School Lecture Series on Accountability & Governance, Manila, Philippines, August 18, 2010

University of the East Graduate School Lecture Series on Accountability & Governance, Manila, Philippines, August 18, 2010

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  • 1. INTEGRITY AND HONOR, <br /> CORRUPTION AND DISHONOR<br />by James P. Wesberry, Jr.<br />Where corruption flourishes honor perishes<br />2209800572770When dishonor is admired, integrity has expired<br />14287505080<br />Graduate School<br />LECTURE SERIES<br />on Accountability and Governance<br />Manila, Philippines - August 18, 2010<br />INTEGRITY AND HONOR - CORRUPTION AND DISHONOR<br />by James P. Wesberry, Jr.<br />Where corruption flourishes honor perishes<br />When dishonor is admired, integrity has expired<br />Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people. . - Spencer Johnson<br />Magandang hapon<br />Preface<br />Faith in God is he definition of Wisdom<br />Fading Honor…..<br />Honor is what others think about us. Integrity is what we ourselves think about our own character. Honor is a reflection of what we look like to others. Integrity is what we see when we look at ourselves. <br />Honor is earned by what we do when others see us and know what we have done. Integrity is defined by what we do where no one can see us or find out what we have done.<br />The importance of both is defined by our conscience.<br />“Honor” is an endangered word…a devalued verbal currency. It is seldom used properly, often applied inappropriately, hardly ever deserved, frequently visibly violated, rarely properly applied, recurrently sought by the undeserving, uncommonly found in the prominent, regularly unrecognized in the commoner, inhabitually merited though quite oft used in government, regularly diminished in sports, scarcely visible in society, generally ignored when deserved and often conferred upon those who merit it least.<br />Yet we tell ourselves that we are proud of our honorableness as a person, as a family, as a country, as a culture, as an ethnic group, as a civilization, as a human being. Are we?<br /> <br />
    • Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold.
    • 2. - Proverbs 22:1
    Do we deserve to be proud of our honor? Who yet is honorable? Is there any one noble left on the planet?<br />At one time it made a difference…presently it may not.<br />The word noble is already long gone from our vocabulary. When was the last time you heard anyone described as noble or having done something noble?<br />The anonymity of the megacity has relegated honor to the garbage heap of history. Personal invisibility within the mass of humanity has obviated the need to be honorable or even honest. Who cares what others think?<br />In parallel honor is being bestowed as a feel good medication. Students in some schools are now being given maximum grades whether they have learned anything or not and a few really up-to-date schools are now “honoring” scores of valedictorians at graduation ceremonies…just so no one will feel bad.<br />Thus we see that simultaneously with the diminishing importance of honor its meaning is being diluted into nothingness.<br />If there ever was on Planet Earth a culture of nobility and honorability, it has now been replaced by a culture of corruption…if ever a culture of integrity existed, it has been superseded by a culture of dishonor.<br />The cult of corruption has become the credo of civilization in Century 21…and honor, though not yet dead, like the proverbial old soldier of the ballad…is just fading away.<br />
    • Ballad: Old Soldiers Never Die ----There is an old cookhouse, far far away Where we get pork and beans, three times a day. Beefsteak we never see, damn-all sugar for our tea And we are gradually fading away. Old soldiers never die, Never die, never die, Old soldiers never die They just fade away.
    It is said that once upon a time on this relatively tiny sphere of whirling matter where we temporarily are imprisoned by Newton’s Law the inhabitants acted honorably, spoke honorably, dressed honorably, respected laws honorably, treated their parents honorably, raised their children honorably, defended their country honorably, served their government honorably, worshipped their God honorably and lived their lives honorably. <br /> A myth? Ancient history? Obsolescent?<br /> Rather fail with honor than succeed by fraud. <br /> - Sophocles<br />   <br /> It is best to live with honor for just a day than with dishonor for many decades - Sri Sathya Sai Baba, Indian Spiritual leader<br />A quick look at the English language tells us that honor was, at least in the past, considered very important but it has been greatly devalued like an overvalued currency in a depression.<br />For example, there are several words in the English language meaning meritorious of being honored, that is deserving to be honored or the quality of being worthy of honor or respect.<br />
    • Honorificabilitudinitatibus
    • 3. Honorificabilitudinity
    • 4. Honorableness
    • 5. Honorability
    • 6. Honorable
    • 7. Honoree
    • 8. Hon.
    • 9. The oldest, honorificabilitudinitatibus, the longest word in Shakespeare’s works, used also by Dante, is said to be 9th longest word in the English language as well as the longest word featuring alternating consonants and vowels. Honorificabilitudinity was apparently a later shortened version. Neither is commonly used today. Honorableness and honorability are seldom used. Honorable or Hon. are only occasionally used to address high officials.
    • 10. Simultaneously honorees are proliferating into a meaningless herd as everyone must be honored to preserve their self-respect. If everyone becomes an honored honoree, no one is really honored.
    • 11. These words have become obsolete, meaningless or are fading away.
    • 12. This leads us to the word honor and to the questions I have for you.
    • 13. Is honor fading away too?
    • 14. Will it become obsolete?
    • 15. Do we, as individuals, deserve to be honored?
    • 16. Do our parents and families deserve to be honored?
    • 17. Does our country deserve to be honored?
    • 18. Does it make any difference anymore?
    • 19. If honor fades away, what will replace it?
    What is an Honorable Man?<br />
    • An honorable man is one who deserves honor. He deserves honor because of his character.
    • 20. A man whose children look up to him as an example of a great father deserves honor.
    • 21. A man whose wife can respect and love him for his integrity, honesty, and faithfulness deserves honor.
    • 22. A man whose family and friends respect him for his decency and goodness deserves honor.
    • 23. A man who holds the intent to live the best life he can, deserves honor.
    • 24. A man who dedicates his life to making the world a better place, deserves honor.
    • 25. Honorable men are those whose lives inspire us, enrich our world, and make the planet better by being here. - Jennifer Jones
    “A person is not given integrity. It results from the relentless pursuit of honesty at all times.” -author unknown<br />Let’s talk now about the inverted relationship between integrity and corruption that converts honorability to dishonor. Here are the character equations:<br />Integrity + Honesty + Accountability + Ethics + Credibility = HONORABILITY<br />Corruption + Fraud + Bribery + Irresponsibility + Inveracity = DISHONOR<br />The traditional antonyms of integrity are corruption, disgrace, dishonesty, and dishonor.<br />Those of honor are blemish, disgrace, dishonor, ill repute, and stigma.<br />But times are changing.<br />In today’s modern media shaped, celebrity adoring society it is becoming obvious that it is no longer always a disgrace, blemish or stigma to be corrupt, dishonest or dishonorable. Notorious contempt for formerly high standards is now often worn as an ornament of pride, rather than a blemish of shame. And speaking of shame, this is another word that has been outmoded.<br />Over a century ago the great Cuban patriot Jose Marti, Cuba’s equivalent of Jose Rizal, commenting on the decline of shame said:<br />Shame must be made fashionable -Jose Marti, Cuban Patriot<br />Instead it appears that shame has been repealed. Those who should suffer shame are now big mouthed heroes who have defied tradition, law and honor and are always “innocent” whether or not proven guilty.<br />We once had a very colorful governor in my home state of Georgia who visited all the public prisons and asked each inmate, “Are you guilty of what they have accused you of?” Only two out of hundreds of prisoners said “Yes”. He went back to his office and immediately pardoned both of them saying “We’ve got two honest men in jail.”<br />Integrity and honor are no longer such shining and inspiring goals as they once were. Corruption and dishonor likewise are no longer such evil vices as they were once considered. <br />Acts and actions formerly considered despicable now are welcomed by the media and give the actor glory by achieving “15 minutes of fame” with little or no risk of disrepute.<br />It is not only governments that have become more corrupt, it is whole societies.<br /> In the Orwellian “Newspeak” of 2010: <br />Disgraceful acts are honorable<br />Corruption is opportunity<br />We have gradually and unknowingly entered the new age of cultural change…the Age of Aquarius has finally evolved into the Age of Kleptoquerius, perhaps we have actually entered the first Kleptocentury. Today the pollution of the human character is a far worse danger than environmental contamination or global warming.<br />Corruption has always been with us. It has gone through cycles of growth and diminution over the centuries. Now it is again on the upswing…but the swinging is higher and faster than ever. <br /> Since an intelligence common to us all makes things known to us and formulates them in our minds, honorable actions are ascribed by us to virtue, and dishonorable actions to vice; and only a madman would conclude that these judgments are matters of opinion, and not fixed by nature. - Marcus Tullius Cicero<br />Some Personal Experiences<br />Dean Avelina De La Rea suggested that I comment on some of my auditing experiences for those of you who are contemplating entering that profession.<br />I was very fortunate to be born in the Southern part of the United States in the middle of the Great Depression, to live for my first nine years in a very tiny, very southern town named Bamberg, South Carolina, then to move with my family to what soon would be the “capital city of the South,” Atlanta, Georgia, just as it began to emerge as such. <br />As you probably know the U.S. South is often called the “Bible Belt” due to the deep religious faith of its people. As you may not know our history has been plagued by poverty following defeat in the great “War Between the States” (as we Southerners prefer to call it) augmented by the Great Depression, spurred by highly discriminatory business practices of powerful selfish northern business interests and further multiplied by blatant corruption in state and local government. The U.S. South that I was born into was in every sense of the word “an underdeveloped land.”<br />I believe that my own experiences during the years I grew up and began working as a CPA, auditor, investigator and later as a public official in my home state of Georgia were really divine guidance preparing me for my later work in Latin America first seeking to improve government auditing and later helping fight corruption in government. Here are some experiences from my own experience as an auditor and investigator in Georgia.<br />The Sad State of public sector auditing at mid-century<br />As a junior accountant, unlike all my colleagues, I was always interested in auditing local governments so I ended up working on many such audits. In those days private sector auditing in the United States had been fairly well developed as a result of the Great Depression’s exposes of poor financial and accounting practices, but public sector auditing was pitiful. I remember one time when my firm was auditing a county that had been previously “audited” by a single non-certified accountant for many years. When I arrived to start the audit the ancient but lovely little lady who had been County Treasurer for decades laid out on a big table two gigantic strongly-bound multicolumnar books where she had patiently and clearly entered every receipt and disbursement during the past year. I scanned the first page or two and turning said to her, “ Ma’am (we said “Ma’am” too in Georgia back then), there are no totals in these columns, they haven’t been added up.” She very pertly told me, “But Mr. Wesberry, that’s what our auditor always does.” All that so-called “auditor” was doing was adding up the columns and summarizing the totals into a statement of receipts and disbursements. <br />Later in the second largest county in the state we followed another auditing firm as new auditors and when we looked for the General Ledger were told that the Senior Partner of the former auditing firm “always carried it around in his briefcase.”<br />Finally when I really hit the big time auditing the largest county in the state I had to spend two years designing and installing accounting systems so we would have something to audit.<br />I can tell you that the government auditing profession in the U.S. and the world has really come a long way since those days. And incidentally so has the financial management profession in both the private and public sectors.<br />" I hope that I shall always possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an Honest Man." GEORGE WASHINGTON, (1732-1799)<br />The deterioration of the auditing profession in the latter part of the 20th century<br />But sadly we do not seem to have made nearly as much progress in strengthening the internal controls in business and government that work to protect public resources. While back in the middle of the 20th Century we were able to perform many tests of records and rely upon our results and the strength of internal controls…especially the controls imposed by the character of the individuals along with longstanding separation of functions and other control procedures…this is no longer the case. Controls, once fairly routine and not so severe, have had to be strengthened over the past five decades several times due to flagrant cases of business corruption and scandal. Worse yet there are more and more cases of executive override of controls combined with large scale collusion among executives and employees, something unheard of in earlier times. The major auditing firms have been embarrassed time and time again in recent years by scandalous corrupt practices that their clients have performed and that they themselves at times have condoned in frantic efforts to retain prosperous clientele.<br />In my opinion, as a CPA for the last 53 years, the problem lies, not so much in the technical accountancy and information technology areas as in the human areas. We are developing into a culture of the corrupt. Let me hasten to say that this is not just a problem in the U.S. or any other particular country. It is a worldwide problem and it is exacerbated by forces and factors that reach almost beyond the power of the human race to control them.<br />Here I must stop preaching and get back to some cases from the past in hopes we might learn for the future.<br />The Case of the Criminal Division of the Office of the Attorney General of the State of Georgia, USA In the decade of the 1950’s a number of scandals broke out in the administration of the State of Georgia. They were first investigated by local authorities and highly publicized in the media. In November, 1958 a new governor, Ernest Vandiver, was elected promising to clean up corruption. Unlike many politicians he was serious about it. He established the “Criminal Division” in the Attorney General’s Office (officially called the State Law Department) but with a secret provision that it reported directly to the Governor, not to the Attorney General, who was a separately elected official who had held office for many years. <br />The Criminal Division was set up under a career Assistant Attorney General with a sterling record of professional character and ethics, who some years later was named to high State and Federal Judgeships. Its small staff was composed of three retired ex-FBI agents, a young 25 year old CPA and two secretaries.<br />The Criminal Division launched several investigations but principally concentrated on corruption in the previous administration of former Governor Marvin Griffin, the main objective of its creation. During 1959-61, there were many more news reports about alleged corruption involving the former governor's friends and cronies, especially his brother, Cheney Griffin, who was eventually prosecuted for accepting monthly checks that were alleged to be bribes from a tractor dealer who practically controlled all public tenders and procurements of tractors by the State through blatant fraudulent practices. <br />The dealer finally accepted his fate and very reluctantly turned state’s evidence at the trial of the governor's brother. However, through the efforts of the state’s most brilliant, astute and theatrical defense attorney the jury failed to convict the former governor’s brother.<br />With his brother “exonerated,” even though he was besmirched by many other charges of corruption, ex-Governor Griffin retained great popularity due to colorful populist stances and had maintained a powerful political machine. He immediately began a campaign for a second term in the governorship as the strongest candidate. His main opponent, Carl Sanders, campaigned on an anti-corruption platform emphasizing all the scandals reported by the Criminal Division and the media. His speeches included tossing out to the crowds at political rallies actual check-sized photocopies of the tractor dealer’s checks to Cheney Griffin. As a result Marvin Griffin lost the 1962 Democratic primary thus ending his political career.<br />But despite his strong and successful anti-corruption campaign, Sanders did not retain the Criminal Division of the State Law Department. When local newspapers launched a campaign for its restoration, now Governor Sanders rejected the idea and a State Senator’s proposed bill to restore it was rejected overwhelmingly by the legislature.<br />The Criminal Division had served its purpose of destroying the re-election possibilities of Marvin Griffin, but nobody in the political power structure of the state wanted to continue to investigate others. It was unthinkable at that time…and I fear it still may be.<br />Some short snapshots of corrupt practices in Georgia at mid-2oth Century<br />A powerful and despotic County Judge also owned a business that sold his own county more gasoline that all its vehicles and equipment could possibly have used in one whole year.  He became the first and only judge impeached, convicted and disbarred in the state. <br />Every single county official in a certain county but one was found by an audit involved in some means of using their office for personal gain. The one honest official, a few years later while serving as prosecutor of bootleggers was blown to bits in his driveway by a bomb placed attached to his auto ignition.<br />A County Commissioner contracted his own construction company with state funds to build roads in his own county. Upon exposure in an audit he was driven from office and convicted only to be freed by a corrupt judge. Several years later was reelected by a forgiving electorate. <br />A tractor dealer created scores of fictitious companies to bid against each other on state procurements where through collusion with Assistant State Purchasing Officer no other companies received requests to bid. Finally he turned state's evidence reluctantly but never admitted guilt though hundreds of documents signed by him bidding against himself were proven. He served a limited prison term.<br />The Governor's brother received monthly checks from major state supplier.  He was indicted, tried and found not guilty through the brilliance of an astute defense lawyer and a gullible jury. He later was elected to the State legislature.<br />Numerous officials enriched themselves legally by buying undeveloped property at intersections where major highways were to be constructed. <br />Tax collection administrators covered up thefts by a colleague who when proven guilty took drugs to try to trick a polygraph test. <br />Vote tally trickery, legal shenanigans and lock changes on the Capitol Building’s doors resulted in the state having simultaneously three governors instead of one for several weeks. <br />Election law rigging made one rural voter’s ballot worth more than four city dwellers votes over many decades. <br />Dead people were so well organized in one county that they voted in alphabetical order in state elections. (One State Senator jokingly introduced a bill to prohibit the deceased from voting after they had been dead for two years).<br />Sound familiar?<br />I can tell you that the American South, Latin America and the Philippines have a lot in common. I wish I had more time to expand on this.<br />Swimming in Fertilizer/ Rolling in Toilet Paper<br />SOUTH AMERICA: A few years ago in a certain Latin American country officials at its major port were astounded to receive dozens of ships delivering fertilizer purchased by the government to be used by the farmers of the country. So much fertilizer arrived that there were not enough warehouses to store it and yet it kept arriving. Ships were waiting in the harbor with more fertilizer to unload and nowhere to unload it, so they were charging the government extra for the delay in unloading. <br />Finally since there were no more storage facilities the remaining fertilizer was unloaded and stacked in the open air near the port without shelter and without protection. Soon the dry season ended and the rains came and you can imagine what happened to the fertilizer. <br />The fertilizer on the top and outside of the great stacks was mostly washed away by the rains but the vast majority of the fertilizer having been exposed to the extreme humidity and moisture from the rain became hard as cement. It could not be used to fertilize and it was extremely bulky and heavy to move for disposal.<br />The two government officials responsible for ordering fertilizer purchases had ordered enough for several years into the future. They claimed that they had been assured by international fertilizer experts that there was going to be a massive fertilizer shortage in the next few years and they were only doing their duty to protect the country by ordering enough fertilizer for the time when it would not be available. The resultant cost to the government, not only for the purchase of unnecessary and later useless fertilizer, but also for its storage and eventual disposal was enormous. The scandal was great. A major investigation was launched and the two people responsible for buying the fertilizer fled the country into exile.<br />NORTH AMERICA: In a fairly small southern county in the United States a trusted purchasing agent had the freedom to make the purchases she considered necessary to meet the needs of the county and its school system. She became quite friendly with one of the suppliers of cleaning and maintenance products and the purchases from that supplier increased far more than the needs of the county. The county began accumulating great quantities of all types of supplies. In particular a monumental qualntity of rolls of toilet paper was purchased and delivered. As it arrived county employees were hard-pressed to find places to store it until it was needed. More and more toilet paper was delivered until it was filling in all available space in the storerooms, unused offices and class rooms, rest rooms, closets and even the hallways of the public buildings. Finally someone realized that the purchasing agent must have a very unusual incentive to purchase so much toilet paper and other supplies from one single vendor and an investigation was carried out.<br />What happened? In both of these cases, one in South America and one in North America, the investigations never proved anything conclusively but it was well-known that the individuals who purchased the fertilizer and the toilet paper received “kickbacks”, commissions on the amounts purchased, so the more they purchased, the more money they personally received from the corrupt suppliers. <br />The South American case was never adequately resolved. The North American purchasing agent finally pled guilty when faced with undeniable evidence of quantities of purchases sufficient to operate the maintenance and sanitary needs of the county for four or five years into the future. She turned state’s evidence against the supplier, who was doing the same thing in many other counties, and in doing so got off with a light jail sentence.<br /> If the chief party, whether it be the people, or the army, or the nobility, which you think most useful and of most consequence to you for the conservation of your dignity, be corrupt, you must follow their humor and indulge them, and in that case honesty and virtue are pernicious. - Machiavelli<br />Kleptocracy Rising<br />The greatest enemy of Democratic government in the world today is Kleptocratic government. Kleptocracy is a worldwide phenomena and a worldwide threat to Democracy. <br />Today we are witnessing a growing tendency toward abstinence from accountability...the refusal to recognize that one is accountable to any higher authority. This is the seed of Kleptocracy, planted by the irresponsible - the unaccountable, fertilized by human greed and watered by a flow of untruth, that grows as the roots of corruption reach deeply into the fertile soil of human culture producing the fungus of corruption that rapidly covers all it touches with the invisible slime of unbridled evil. It can stealthily displace any and all political ideology or form of government. <br />Kleptocracy comes to power neither by force, nor by ballot. It simply grows like a fungus corrupting more and more persons until it takes control. Almost everyone then becomes corrupted as corruption becomes a way of life, payoffs become salary supplements, collusion spreads because everybody's doing it and gradually the entire country, or at least its business and governmental leadership and its public service becomes corrupted.<br />The great poet Alexander Pope described this process aptly when he said of vice and corruption: <br />Vice and Corruption<br />" Seen too oft, familiar with her face,<br />we first endure, then pity,<br /> then embrace. - Alexander Pope<br />Kleptocracy is " government by thieves." There is nothing new about it. Kleptocracy may in fact be the world's oldest form of government. It simply consists of the institutionalization of one person's or one elite group's greed for resources and power in the form of the apparatus of the state. Most monarchies deteriorated over time into Kleptocracies. Most great empires were driven by Kleptocracy's inspiration. <br />The plunders taken by conquering armies in times of war and the hated tributes extorted by tax collectors in times of peace...all in the name of government...permeate the pages of the history of our so called civilization. Karl Marx saw the Capitalists as the most horrible of Kleptocrats exploiting natural and human resources driven by greed. But his own disciples did exactly the same...even as they praised his name.<br />We have seen the domino effect of the people's disgust with Kleptocracy among the former Soviet states. But the disillusionment expressed by many former communists has not so much been with ideology but with the corruption which discredited the utopian promises and their promisors.<br />It became apparent to the world in the last decade of the 20th Century that Kleptocracy had actually displaced Communism in a number of countries.<br />Beware!...it can displace Democracy just as stealthily. <br />The big challenge to democratic governance today is how to protect itself from Kleptofungus, perhaps now dormant, but still permeating a society which has become accustomed to it. Often throughout history one Kleptocracy has been overthrown by disgusted citizens only to be replaced by another under another brand name…then by another and another for years. <br />Kleptofungus is invisible. It grows anywhere there are human beings. In its early stages it is unnoticed. At midgrowth it begins to get hold of every possible activity. In its later stages it reproduces with geometric progression so that it quickly takes complete control before it can be stopped. <br />The third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson said " The time to guard against corruption and tyranny is before they shall have gotten hold of us." We are now seeing the late stage of the growth of Kleptofungus throughout many countries of the world today - the geometrically progressive stage. It has already gotten hold of us, especially in the world's major cities...and in quite a few countries.<br />Once in control Kleptocratic power tends to become more and more centralized in one person or group which holds the franchise on all forms of corruption. Lower level concessionaires become the economic slaves of the rulers passing them ever larger amounts of graft which must be financed by squeezing tighter those below. The Kleptoconstrictors continually apply more and more pressure until the lowest levels rebel in desperation or are saved by an outside force. <br />We have much to learn from the real life illustrations of the astounding vitality of Kleptocratic menace which are reported daily in the media. History is filled with case studies of kleptofungal growth and domination. We need a scientist who can invent an effective Kleptofungicide!<br />Sadly, science never seems to solve human problems. The solution to Kleptofungal growth lies within us. We can prevent Kleptocracy. We can control corruption in government. But we can do this only by changing people...seeing that they accept their duty to be accountable…that they restore honor as a goal in human behavior, integrity as a prerequisite to respect and admiration and doing our best to decontaminate the culture around us.<br />Integrity and honorability constitute the real Kleptofungicide<br />By recognizing the importance of integrity and honorability we cannot eradicate corruption from our planet, but we can control it, prevent much of it, discover most of it and take more effective and immediate measures to punish those responsible for it.<br />But if we are to win over corruption we must determine to whom we ourselves are accountable. If we are to defeat corruption we must first recognize that we are accountable to our Creator, our family, our nation, other persons and our own selves, then, and only then, we will have the right and duty to insist upon accountability by others.<br />To accountability we must add integrity, to integrity we must add honesty, to honesty we must add ethical conduct and to ethical conduct we must add credibility through truthfulness and transparency. Then we will merit honor…and we must not let honor fade away.<br />Integrity and honorability can overcome Kleptocracy's corrupt and dishonorable threat to Democracy.<br />Needless to say my remarks to you reflect my personal observations and opinions and those of no other person or organization. I have purposely not spoken about your wonderful country because, although the four months I have been here permit me to appreciate its greatness and beauty, I doubt that I will be able stay the several decades necessary to understand its politics and the challenges of its governance. Just so some mention is made of the situation here I will leave you with these views of local issues while we prepare our audience response equipment to ask you a few questions:<br />Concluding remarks from a recent study<br />“The level of corruption in the Philippines…failed to show significant improvement despite decades-long struggle to curb corruption through various laws and policies. Deeply entrenched personalistic politics is an obstacle to reform efforts. Another reason is turf war between present and previous incumbent politicians. The new administration tends to abandon programs initiated by the previous administration…wasting incremental success achieved by the previous government…<br />The Neo-Patrimonial System (using state resources to secure loyalty in the general population) is sustained by commonly seen features in developing countries, particularly ethno-linguistic fractionalization, absence of democracy and accountability and economic inequality…productive forces have to learn to operate within this system, while keeping a firm long-term goal of creating a system which will value integrity and dignity much more than personal and material gains from political power.” – From Corruption and Development, Revisited, Jenny D. Balboa and Shinji Takenaka, Philippine Institute of Development Studies, June, 2010<br />EXTRACTS FROM BENIGNO S. AQUINO IIIPLATFORM of GOVERNMENT<br />Corruption robs our children of their protection, nutrition and education.<br />Corruption destroys our families and communities.<br />Corruption steals from our farmers and workers.<br />Corruption deters businessmen from investing in our economy.<br />This has eroded our spirit as individuals, as communities, as a people.<br />We have lost trust in the democratic institutions we so courageously re-established after the dictatorship…<br />We have ceased to depend on the patriotism and civic engagement that used to animate many of our efforts…<br />Our moral faculties as a people have been paralyzed.<br />The Vision for the Philippines A country with…<br />1. A re-awakened sense of right and wrong, through the living examples of our highest leaders…<br />3. A collective belief that doing the right thing does not only make sense morally, but translates into economic value as well;<br />[ROUND OF QUESTIONS – with audience response]<br />A Portrait of an Honorable Man<br />Psalm 15 has been described as a “portrait of an honorable man”. Consider it:<br />1 LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary?        Who may live on your holy hill?<br />2 He whose walk is blameless        and who does what is righteous,        who speaks the truth from his heart<br />3 and has no slander on his tongue,        who does his neighbor no wrong        and casts no slur on his fellowman,<br />4 who despises a vile man        but honors those who fear the LORD,        who keeps his oath        even when it hurts,<br />5 who lends his money without usury        and does not accept a bribe against the innocent.      He who does these things        will never be shaken.<br /> Psalm 15<br />An Honest Man<br />Alexander Pope, quoted earlier about the ease of falling into the embrace of vice and corruption, also said:<br />An honest man is the <br />most noble work of God . Alexander Pope<br />Post Script: Two unforgettable corruption cases<br />There is a light side to corruption. It consists of the humorous and unusual cases and I’ll leave you with a couple. I think these two cases from my collection merit the top prizes for creative corruption.<br />
    • AFRICA: The case of Vice Presidential larceny of sacred cow manure.
    The goal of every culture is to decay through over-civilization; the factors of decadence,—luxury, skepticism, weariness and superstition,—are constant. The civilization of one epoch becomes the manure of the next. <br /> - Cyril Connolly (1903–1974), British critic<br />2. OUT OF THIS WORLD: The case of the public official who stole a piece of the moon.<br /> " Corruption is nature's way of restoring our faith in democracy." Peter Ustinov<br /> " They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent." - Daniel 6:4<br />_____________________<br />Pagpalain kayo ng Dios<br />Mabuhay Salamat<br />James P. Wesberry, Jr.<br />Jim Wesberry is Chief of Party of the USAID/Management Systems International Philippine Integrity Project. The project seeks to improve integrity within government agencies and reduce corruption. Mr. Wesberry is recognized worldwide for his lifetime dedication to accountability and transparency in government. While his professional training and focus is most closely linked to financial accountability and performance auditing, beginning with early crusades against corruption in his home state of Georgia as a practicing CPA and a State Senator where he investigated corruption and authored the code of ethics for state employees, until the past two decades when he headed USAID Anti-Corruption Project for the Western Hemisphere followed by national projects in Mexico and Ecuador, his has been a consistent and powerful voice for anti-corruption reform. Over the years Wesberry held high posts at the World Bank, USAID, US General Accounting Office, PricewaterhouseCoopers, the Organization of American States and the Institute of Public Administration of New York.<br />Because of his unparalleled experience in the anti-corruption arena, he is regularly consulted not only on auditing and financial-management reform, but also on such issues as government ethics agencies, inspectors general, whistleblowing, the role of civil society and the full range of accountability issues. He has developed his own modus operandi for fighting corruption using both new and traditional practices adapted to modern technology, especially internet websites, electronic communications and training and satellite conferencing. For these efforts he has been decorated by two governments, and received USAID’s second highest employee award in 1993. As a CPA and Certified Internal Auditor he also has received the highest awards of the Western Hemispheric Accountancy Profession and the World Internal Auditing Profession<br />