Probus Club Speaker – Citizens Against Corruption
Pierre Landell-Mills made a presentation to Bishopsteignton Probus Club about the problems of corruption abroad and the way in which small groups of citizens organise themselves to combat it.
Pierre worked for 26 years at the World Bank and then founded the Transparency Fund which supports and advises citizens’ groups to reduce corruption across the developing world.
In many countries, corruption is rife, with citizens forced to pay bribes to local officers and international companies paying very large bribes. The recipients say “they are just gifts” and the companies paying bribes dismiss it by saying “If we don’t do it, others will do it and we would lose business.”
To combat corruption, the Transparency Fund supports and advises civil society organisations across the world. He gave many examples to illustrate how this works. In the Philippines, officials did not monitor contracts adequately because they received bribes from contractors. This changed after parents monitored contracts and compared what had been purchased with actual deliveries of books and equipment. In India, citizens monitored food aid deliveries and compared it with lists of allocations obtained from civil servants. This showed seventy per cent of the money was lost as it went through the system.
Bishopsteignton Probus Club is open to retired men and those nearing retirement. It holds a programme of talks, trips and lunches in a warm, open atmosphere. Members are drawn from Bishopsteignton, Teignmouth, Torquay, and Newton Abbot. More information is available from the Honorary Secretary Tony Corlett (telephone 01626 774772) or the Chairman Baz Carpenter (01626 774056)
Attached photograph: Pierre Landell-Mills is thanked by former Probus chairman Ian Doddrell