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【时事新闻】A novel way to combat corruption: Who to punish打击贪腐新招式:谁该受处罚

(2011-05-11 23:11:46)
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分类: 时事新闻

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A novel way to combat corruption:Who to punish

打击贪腐新招式:谁该受处罚

May 5th 2011 | 2011年5月5日

CORRUPTION conjures up images of shadowy deals among lobbyists, corporations and crooked government officials. But it is often more mundane, as officials demand bribes even to deliver routine public services. Figures from Gallup, a pollster, reveal just how widespread such corruption is (see chart).

贪污总是让人联想到说客、企业和行为不正的政府官员间见不得光的秘密交易。但由于官员要求贿赂,甚至赠送日常公共设施,贪污其实是很寻常的。民意测试专家盖洛普刚刚公布的调查数据显示,此类贪污行为范围之广泛。

 

Economists argue that such small-scale graft does great damage. Official extortion erodes trust. As authorities in countries like Greece are discovering, fighting tax evasion is hard if people have little trust in the honesty of tax officials themselves.

经济学者认为如此小规模贪污将产生巨大危害。官方敲诈会腐蚀信任。各国当局,像希腊最近就发现,如果人们不信任税务官员诚实正直,那么打击漏税将变得很困难。

 

An Indian website, ipaidabribe.com, set up last summer by anti-corruption activists, reveals just how grasping officials can be. It has documented over 8,500 instances of bribery adding up to nearly 375m rupees ($8.4m) in backhanders. These include 100 rupees to get a policeman to register a complaint about a stolen mobile phone and 500 rupees for a clerk to hand over a marriage certificate. The amounts are much larger to facilitate income-tax refunds, where the standard “charge” is 10%; sums between 5,000 and 50,000 rupees change hands.

ipaidabribe.com是一家去年由反贪腐积极分子建立的印度网站,它揭露出政府官员是如何的贪婪。文件记录证明,有超过8500例贪污事件,回扣总额总计达近375亿卢比(8.4亿美元)。其中,有100卢比用来让警察登记失窃手机投诉,500卢比给文员以获得结婚证书。在用于帮助退还收入税上,这个数据要庞大的多。退还收入税的标准“费用”为10%,转手共计5000到50000卢比之间不等。

 

But such initiatives can do little beyond allowing people to vent their anger about corruption. Kaushik Basu, the chief economic adviser to India’s finance ministry, suggests that this may be partly because the law treats both bribe-giving and bribe-taking as crimes. This makes it hard to blow the whistle on corrupt officials, because the bribe-giver has also broken the law. If he complains, he risks prosecution or, more likely, being asked for another bribe by the police. In a provocative paper based on game theory, Mr Basu argues for the legalisation of some kinds of bribe-giving. His proposal has instigated a furious debate in India, with television channels even assembling panels to discuss it.

但当允许人们向贪污发泄怒火时,此类积极性很难有所作为。印度财政部首席经济顾问考西柯•巴苏认为,由于无论是受贿还是行贿,法律上都定为犯罪,这可能在一定程度上有利于减少贪污。这也使得告发贪污官员变得困难,因为行贿者同样违反了法律。如果他投诉,他将冒着检举的危险,或更有可能,警察会对他行贿。在一份基于博弈论的挑拨性的文件中,巴苏先生为部分行贿行为合法性争辩。他的提议激起了印度国内激烈辩论,电视频道甚至开专题讨论。

 

Some thunder that the economist is condoning corruption. But Mr Basu makes clear that paying an official to bend the rules in one’s favour should continue to be illegal. The category of payments he would like to legalise are “harassment bribes”, made by a person to get things to which he is legally entitled. In such cases, Mr Basu argues, the giver should be granted immunity from prosecution and a proven complaint should result not only in punishment for the corrupt official but also in a “refund” for the bribe-giver. These steps, he believes, will align the incentives of those asked for bribes and law-enforcement agencies which seek to prosecute corrupt officials by giving their victims the confidence to lodge complaints and encouraging them to hang on to evidence of bribery. Fear of being caught should make officials more wary of asking for bribes in the first place.

一些人怒斥道,经济学家正在赦免贪污。但巴苏先生澄清说,付钱给官员以此根据个人要求放宽规定的做法,应继续认定为违法行为。他愿意使之合法化的付款种类是“骚扰贿赂”,即某人使用合法权利获得某物。在这种情况下,巴苏先生认为,送礼者理当不被检举,而且一份证明了的诉讼应该不仅有对贪污官员处罚结果,还要有对行贿者的偿还结果。他相信,这些步骤将要求贿赂的积极分子和力图打击贪污官员执法机构联合在一起。执法机构通过给予受害者提出投诉的信心及鼓励他们上交贿赂证据来打击贪污。因担心被抓捕的心理使得官员在第一次要求贿赂时,会变得更加小心翼翼。

 

This sounds promising in theory. But India’s courts are notoriously slow. Jean Drèze, an Indian development economist, reckons that the difficulty of pursuing a legal case against a corrupt official may mean that few will complain. If so, Mr Basu’s idea may inadvertently result in an increase in the incidence of corruption. At least some people who would earlier have refused when asked for a bribe, Mr Drèze reckons, would now pay up.

理论上这一切看起来很有希望,但印度法院以迟缓声名狼藉。印度经济发展学家珍•德雷兹猜测,追求用一项法律案件打击贪污官员的难度可能意味着几乎无人会被投诉。如果真是如此,巴苏先生的想法可能导致贪污案件的增长。德雷兹先生估计,至少初期要求受贿而拒绝的人如今可能会全部付清。

 

Yet when the bribes are for things that are their due, refusal to pay is unrealistic for most people. The tone of those posting on the bribe-reporting website suggest that people are keen to strike back at corrupt officials. Because Mr Basu’s idea should make this easier, it is worth considering. So are steps such as moving more transactions online, to reduce contact with officials. Fighting corruption will need more than one clever idea.

但是,当贿赂行为朝着他们应得的事物时,对大多数人而言拒绝付钱是不现实的。那些将贿赂报告粘贴在网站上的人认为,人们热衷于打击贪污官员。因为巴苏先生的想法应使该问题变得更简单,它有参考价值。一些步骤,比如越来越偏向网上交易,从而减少了与官员的直接联系,这使得打击贪污将需要不止一个聪明的点子。 

                                         

                                                          Translated by 川透社:林莉莉

                                                          当日责任人:刘东  责编:段婷

 

 

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Advices of the translation and assistance are warmly welcomed.

We are responsible for the imperfections that remain in the translation 

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