McPherson and MacSearraigh - Corruption in the Petroleum Sector

McPherson, C., MacSearraigh S., Corruption in the Petroleum Sector in  Many Faces of Corruption: Tracking Vulnerabilities at the Sector Level  (Campos,  J.E., Pradhan, S., M., (eds)  Washington D.C. , United States of America: World Bank, 2007).              

Developing countries and economies in transition that are rich in petroleum resources display poor development and economic performance. It is against this backdrop that the authors address the phenomenon of corruption in the petroleum sector as being one of the reasons for such underperformance. To that end, McPherson and MacSearraigh start their analysis by exploring the features of the sector that make it vulnerable to corruption, followed by a categorisation of the types of corruption in attention to the channels through which it is achieved.

Further, the authors indicate the main actors (governments, oil companies, powerful individuals, banks) involved, and pinpoint not only the corrupt practices but also the symptoms that suggest the presence of corruption in each segment of the oil value chain, thereby giving a comprehensive account of how corruption is conducted.

Since corruption is surmountable, the authors put forward some possible remedies and appropriate responses to it, by focusing on EITI and transparency programs that would address not only the revenues but also a wide range of additional policy and operational areas, including good governance. It is also mentioned that adherence to international anti-corruption conventions and addressing the elusive shades of corruption (legal corruption, diplomatic nonmonetary pressures and inducements) are adequate responses to combating corruption.

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