- Unless a corrupt act is exposed, how do we know that an official is corrupt? And more importantly, how can we ensure that these officials are not promoted to positions where they can wreak even more damage? And, in handling allegations of corruption made against officials, how do we ensure that morale is not adversely affected? And that complainants — and innocent parties — are protected. Such allegations are easily made. If they are not based on truth, they can be morally damaging.
- A further complication can be where those making allegations have a history of criminal involvement, especially where their complaints are made against the police. This gives such a complainant a low personal credibility.
- So how can reliable evidence (either of integrity or of corrupt tendencies) be produced, in ways consistent with the constitutional rights of officials as citizens, and in ways in which neither the complainant nor the person complained of is unduly “threatened”?
Integrity testing has now emerged as a particularly useful tool for cleaning up corrupt police forces — and for keeping them clean.
In various parts of the developed world, police corruption scandals have come in cycles. Rampant corruption has been exposed; clean-up measures have been implemented; corrupt police have been prosecuted or dismissed.
- But within a few years, a bout of fresh scandals has emerged. This, it is now realized, is because whole reform strategies have been misplaced.
- They have been founded on a belief that getting rid of “rotten apples” in the form of corrupt officers would be sufficient to contain the problem.
- It is now clear that it is not enough to “clean up” an area of corruption when problems show. Rather, systems must be developed which ensure that there will be no repetitions.
- It is in the essential field of follow-up and monitoring that integrity testing really comes into its own.