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The specific reasons which create and foster corruption can be thus listed‑

  1. Desire for an Unfair Advantage
  2. Lack of Punitive Measures
  3. Lack of Transparency
  4. Poor Incentive Structures
  5. Problems with the law: Lawless and Over Regulated Governments
  6. Dysfunctional Systems as a Cause for Corruption

A brief note on the above has been laid down below‑

(1)         Desire for an Unfair Advantage

Many officials are motivated to participate in corrupt behaviour because of the inherently selfish desire to have an unfair advantage over their peers. Through bribery, extortion, embezzlement, nepotism and other means, corruption can help dishonest people get ahead while the public pays the price.

A corrupted politician may seek to sway a person’s opinions, actions, or decisions, reduce fees collected, speed up government grants, or change outcomes of legal processes.

  • Through corruption, people seeking an unfair advantage may pay courts to vote in their favour or, as with police, customs units, and tax collectors, to disregard a penalty.
  • Bribery may be paid to allow for otherwise unacceptable building and zoning permits, to sway school exam results or allow acceptance by an unqualified student into a school system. People in the private sector may pay off politicians so that they dismiss rules and regulations to protect employees in the workforce.
  • Corruption motivated by an unfair advantage may also occur in immigration, passport and visa offices in which unqualified individuals may be allowed an unfair advantage to obtain these important documents, at the expense of others.                    FACTORS THAT CAUSES CORRUPTION
  • In order to obtain an unfair advantage, governments and government officials may apply any number of methods to abuse their power over the citizens.

(2)         Lack of Punitive Measures

  • Thomas Hobbes, the great political philosopher, once said, “A man’s conscience and his judgment is the same thing; and as the judgment, so also the conscience, may be erroneous.” This idea that individuals cannot always rely on a working inner moral compass alone to guide them to virtue is at the heart of the next motivating factor for participating in corrupt behaviour.
  • When the legal agencies do not impose sanctions on parliamentarians and other government officials who have violated their public duties there is a lack of punitive measure for corrupt behaviour.
  • This is the case, for example when judges are in the pay of the ruling party or there are too few police officers to enforcethe law.                    FACTORS THAT CAUSES CORRUPTION
  • When there are not punitive measures to assure transparency, monitoring, and accountability through a working justice system, some people will participate in corrupt behaviour simply because they can get away with it.

Politicians and other individuals require a legal, monitoring system to assure that corruption will not occur in the planning and execution of public sector budgets.

(3)         Lack of Transparency

  • Transparency describes when there is free access by citizens to public information. When the rules, procedures, and objectives of the government are not available to the public, there is not budgetary and administrative oversight to balance the power of government officials, transparency is lacking and corruption can be bred.
  • Without oversight and transparency of budget and rules, national resources may be plundered and power may be abused in favour of the corrupt official only.

Lack of transparency creates opportunities for public officials to abuse their office for private gain. This closely relates to accountability, and weak accountability mechanisms tend to facilitate corruption.

Where there is a lack of transparency and accountability corruption will flourish. Once corrupt bureaucrats realize that they can take advantage of regulations, they will produce more regulations and run the risk of becoming less transparent.                                FACTORS THAT CAUSES CORRUPTION

(4)            Poor Incentive Structures

  • Bad incentives, such as clerks not earning a living wage or not having job security might also encourage corrupt behaviour such as supplementing income with bribes.
  • Some people who do not have an incentive to perform their official duties, but actually pay for their jobs with the understanding that they will make money through bribes.
  • A lack of incentive also results when positions of power are granted as a result of favouritism and nepotism. Making people resist hard work.
  • Incentives also come into the picture when salaries are so low that people cannot meet the basic living standards for food and housing. As a result, people will often take other jobs that cause absenteeism of public officials, and often increase the demand by government officials for bribes and other paybacks in order to supply the public services.

(5)      Problems with the law: Lawless and Over Regulated Governments

  • Corruption can also be caused when there is excessive control and a sort of monopoly of power. In these circumstances, there again is not a level playing field, and decisions will always be made at the advantage of the group or person who dominates political control.          FACTORS THAT CAUSES CORRUPTION
  • As a result, ordinary citizen rights are lost and public resources are often plundered for the personal gain of the public officials. Poverty or scarcity of goods may also push people to live outside the law.
  • Finally, corruption occurs when government officials resist government policies and programs. Introducing policies that allow for greater oversight would help to assure that power were balanced and no one person would be making all of the political decisions.
  • When politicians resist this change they prevent political and cultural progress for their country, prohibit civic interests from being met, and allow the pattern of corruption to flourish.

(6)          Dysfunctional Systems as a Cause for Corruption

  • Instability in government may also catapult a nation and its leaders towards corruption. Among them, war, ethnic or religious conflict, economic hardship, and social inequalities may instigate corruption.
  • Any circumstance that threatens a nation or its people either through identity or establishment may diminish the good governance practices of a nation.
  • Even in less difficult times, the institutions and policies of government may undermine how well the government carries out its work.
  • When institutions and policies are weak, individuals tend to take advantage of them. Therefore, poor governments are a product of sick institutions, or institutions that function poorly because of inadequate resources or bad policies and procedures. As stated earlier, good governance refers to the provision of services that are responsive to citizen needs.                    FACTORS THAT CAUSES CORRUPTION