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Back to 2014_05_30_ICS_En EE. UU., el Gobierno federal premia a los denunciantes de los casos de corrupción verificados

"In the U.S., the federal government rewards whistleblowers in verified corruption cases."

William English, researcher of Harvard, states that the guarantee against abuses of power is a free press.

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PHOTO: Carlota Cortés
30/05/14 08:44 Carlota Cortés

"In the U.S., when the federal government verifies a reported case of corruption in a company or public institution, it generously rewards the whistleblower for his or her contribution. Administrative processes are in place to make it easier for citizens to report wrongdoing." William English, researcher of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University, U.S.A., said (USA), pronounced these words at the framework of the congress 'The Ethics of Citizenship in the 21st Century', organized by the project 'Religion and Civil Society' of the Institute for Culture and Society (ICS) today and tomorrow.

The expert, who has researched institutional corruption issues for the past four years, said that when corruption is widespread "it is very difficult to attribute its causes to a particular person or to ask someone to change when they are part of a system that encourages these types of behavior". 

A leader to break the vicious circle

To break the vicious circle, he proposed the figure of a leader "who creates a break final with the past and communicates this to citizens". In this sense, he assured that incentives are crucial, although he explained that it is often difficult to choose between positive and negative ones. "Economists and politicians should look back and see how professional advantages for certain people, certain rewards and some penalties do not work."

William English stressed that a free press is one of the allies that a strong civil society can count on to confront abuses of power. "When something goes wrong, journalists shine a spotlight on it, let people know about it, and hold those in power accountable for their actions. They create a public dialogue that calls for change," he said.

William English is one of the speakers at the ICS congress 'The ethics of citizenship in the 21st century', which brings together some thirty experts from academic centers in the Netherlands, USA, Italy, New Zealand and Spain, such as Harvard University and the Catholic University of Sacro Cuore.

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