Woodchopper wrote: ↑
Mon Feb 20, 2023 10:58 am
EACLucifer wrote: ↑
Sun Feb 19, 2023 7:43 pm
Some, perhaps. It would be very charitable to believe that pay not reaching troops is entirely accidental, though.
Yes, likely the pay was diverted by corrupt officials. A database may help solve that kind of administrative problem.
There's an instructive section in Duflo and Banerjee's book Poor Economics
. The story they tell is about the Indian health service. But a colleague implemented the same thing in the South Sudan education service. And it has happened in many other less developed countries and sectors.
So foreign consultant turns up in ldc in the admin of a public service with problems. Consultant quickly observes poor work attendance, incompetent payroll system, phantom and duplicate workers being paid, etc. So foreign consultant sets up competent admin system with proper payroll database, and a system of detecting and recording of workers in attendance at their jobs, etc. If consultant is BigAccountsCo then, it's a complex system requiring big computing power. If it's my friend wording in South Sudan, then it's a simple, easy to maintain, spreadsheet that will run on a 10-yr-old reconditioned PCs, with a macro to run the monthly payroll. So they turn it on, and very quickly they purge all the phantom and duplicate employees. And very quickly workers realise they have to turn up and work to be paid, so worker attendance suddenly becomes excellent.
But foreign consultant goes home, and after a couple of months, things seem to be relapsing to the old ways. Workers have worked out how they can be in attendance and working on the system, but not actually there, through conspiracy with others. New ways of conspiring to get phantom and duplicate workers onto the system are worked out and start to spread through it. And after a year or so, it's no different from before.
Because it was never the case that the local people couldn't set up a fit-for-purpose worker database and attendance system, if they wanted to. It is a very obvious thing and very simple to do. They just had no interest in doing so, right to the top. The whole point was that the place where the power lay had a vested interest in how things were, and a network of influence through the organisation to maintain the subversion of any such system. And so you give them the nice new system. But the place where the power and influence are, as soon as you are out of the way, subverts the system once again, and reawakens their network of influence to conspire to keep it like that, and operate it.
Corruption is very much about people with power and networks of influence. Combating it require disrupting those networks of influence and centres of corrupt power. A database and admin system is not adequate, unless those operating it have greater power than those subverting it, and sufficient influence to destroy their networks of influence that they implement their corruption through.