What is BI?
According to the non-governmental organisation Transparency International, corruption is the abuse of entrusted power for private gain.
We know corruption undermines the defence and security capabilities of any country; it costs a great deal of money, degrades operational performance, results in poor resource allocation and, ultimately, bad policies. Corruption often lies behind the acquisition of substandard equipment, endangering the lives of personnel and others.
Corruption reduces public trust in and acceptance of – political institutions in general and defence institutions in particular. It erodes public support for defence spending and national contributions to peacekeeping operations. Corruption in the military sector impacts a number of civilian sectors and the economy in general, while infecting other parts of government or exacerbating already existing corruption.
Building integrity is a strategy to prevent corruption. There are different ways of defining integrity. In a technical sense, integrity means a system is fully operational and intact. In a moral sense, integrity refers to consistency of actions, values, principles and outcomes. Personal integrity therefore means that a person has moral values in which they believe and aspire to live up to.
People have integrity if they are doing their work honestly, competently and completely.
At the individual level, integrity should be internalised – moral values should be embedded into people’s everyday life.
At the organisational level, integrity should be institutionalised by embedding a high moral standard in organisations, businesses and public offices. The ultimate goal is to create a robust society in which moral principles and societal values are respected – in short, it ensures good governance.
The development of an integrity plan is an essential part of building efficient and transparent defence institutions. An integrity plan is a tool to design and implement specific measures to correct identified risks of corruption and other shortcomings in the integrity system. Through a holistic and systematic approach, specific measures may be tailored and implemented in a way that reinforces integrity and reduces the risk of corruption or other unethical behaviour. The aim is to institutionalise high standards and principles of good governance.