Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Basics of Business - Ethics Part 2

I had the interesting experience of running a course in Qatar duing the FIFA election debacle, in which one candidate Sheikh Bin Hamman of Qatar was suspended ensuring another unopposed election for Sepp Blatter.

The whole election, and previously the award of the World Cup to Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022, was mired in allegations of corruption, brown envelopes and people putting their own interests ahead of the organisation. Qatar was accused of "buying" the World Cup, though the precise meaning of that phrase was disputed.

In the UK we watched with rightous indignation, and a certain fury, as we saw evidence that our bid for the World Cup in 2018 had been ignored by FIFA because the FA had refused to offer "sweetners". This may have been the case - certainly there had been accusations of corruption at FIFA for many years, and surely the FA were aware of that before the fact.

It may be salutary though, as we pride ourselves on our incorruptable British nature, that Qatar actually ranks above the UK (i.e. better) in the Transparency International Perceptions of Corruption index - see here. Only one rank, but still - Qatar has been improving its score, whilst the UK has been showing considerable decline with the score (out of 10) declining from 8.3 in 2003 to 7.6 in 2010.

This index looks at perceptions of the public sector, and as always you can argue with the methodology and scoring - and the UK is still 20 out of 186 nations, and above the USA (22nd). However it is a worrying trend, and if continued could lead to an erosion of trust in the public sector and public sector procurement in particular. Which is not in our national interest.

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