proportionality before corruption damages less economy than Zero Tolerance

The "zero tolerance" approaches that seek to annul the public-private partnership contracts affected by corruption generate more negative effects on the economy and the public treasury than other "flexible and proportional" measures, says a report by the Inter-American Development Bank ( IDB) published today.

The document "Effects of corruption in public-private partnership contracts: consequences of a zero-tolerance approach" analyzes the legal frameworks in Latin America that stipulate the cancellation of agreements affected by corruption and notes that the use of "tools" more proportional ", which include sanctions but that enable the continuation of the leftovers, are more recommendable.

Roberto de Michele, author of the report and senior expert on Transparency, Integrity and Anticorruption of the IDB, explained to Efe that the policies of "zero tolerance" generate and drag "the nullity of the whole chain", affecting innocent suppliers, at the same time that withdraw the incentives "for those who finance continue to finance", which generates "a paralysis".

"Another approach is the proportional response, and here is something important, and that is that it does not mean that there is no responsibility for illegal acts, it does not allow the corrupt to wash their hands, but it is not, it only suggests having a battery of measures to isolate the fact of corruption as far as possible, "said the analyst.

According to De Michele, the "technical analysis" of this issue gives the impression that "the countries with the widest range of response to corruption have better possibilities to make the least harmful decisions possible.

"If there is only one possible answer, there is no good scenario," he added.

In this regard, he recalled that in cases of corruption must be administered "two principles", "to ensure transparency and to ensure the viability of the work."

"That comes into conflict, and there is no answer about when one wins and when another wins." The study suggests that the broader the law, the easier it will be to respond.Complex problems require complex solutions, "he said.

Among other alternative measures to "zero tolerance", the report suggests incorporating remedies that allow continuing with the projects "while applying corrective and dissuasive measures such as fines, future disqualifications or replacement of subcontractors".

According to the IDB in its report, the total investments by executors in public-private partnerships or public works to be carried out by companies linked to acts of corruption, would reach 9,000 million dollars, equivalent to 4% of GDP.

In Peru, the government of President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (2016-2018) approved in February 2017 the popularly called "Antiodrebrecht" decree amid the scandal provoked by the revelations of Marcelo Odebrecht about the millionaire bribes paid by its construction company to Peruvian officials. change of awarding large contracts in public works.

The decree ordered the intervention of accounts, prohibited state contracting and strictly controlled the sale or transfers of goods and capital of companies that had confessed acts of corruption or that were guilty of that crime.

That norm, which was reformed a year later, was strongly criticized by business, labor and by the Odebrecht company itself, since it prevented payment to suppliers and subcontractors and the liquidation of assets to pay debts and bank loans.

In practice, the regulations, which were also applied to other construction companies involved in acts of corruption, led to the paralysis of public works and financing due to the interruption of the payment chain.


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