Corruption 4: Corruption and Conditional clause-Possible solutions.

14 AUGUST 2023


As the root-cause of corruption is the number of conditional clauses in any rule in governance, reduce the number of these clauses to utmost three per rule. Most of them should have only one or two and a few may have three. If you have more than three, pick the most critical three conditions which will make or mar the objective behind the rule in question.

As even the conditional clause can be applied orally and/or wrongly only when the citizen meets the authority, make most of the interactions digital online and not person to person: In the example above, only testing the driver should be person to person and not anything else. So, the ‘fee’ for the services rendered can be stipulated only digitally and this will create a big enough block and a powerful brake on people who make money through corruption.

When even the few personal meetings are unavoidable, put a time limit on the authority within which he must complete his role on the job that the citizen wants done. As the deadline approaches, the citizen gets an upper hand as he knows the authority cannot squeeze any money out of him – and the authority cannot take his/her own sweet time, until he/she gets the commission.

If the Govt. employee fails to act finitely in the case or the file within the stipulated days, he will lose pay equal to 10 times the number of days delayed by him (base + DA). Yes, it is ten times the number of days because we are talking of cases where the going rate for corruption is high. Plus, as the foundation in which he is sitting to demand the corruption money is his job, he should be sacked from his job if he does take more than the allotted time in more than four cases a year. A thing like corruption can be reduced only with severe penalties/deterrents for non-performance by the Govt. employee.

If none of the above is possible in a person to person contact job to be done, at least make public the commission for only such jobs. For example, the driving test can carry a fixed fee based on the class of city, the price of vehicle etc. like DA is based on factors, so that no one feels bad. You can keep this fee optional, as it is not the Govt. revenue that is lost but only a citizen’s money who is already prepared mentally, as he knows this is the published ‘fee’ and takes it as part of the cost of getting a driving license. Moreover, the person with whom the power resides to give the service or not, is psychologically healthier as he feels less guilty, now that there is a sanction as per the notice board carrying service vs. corruption amount.

Take all areas in which the Govt. is giving service to citizens. Arrange these verticals in descending order of currently prevailing corruption amount per say day. This is no big deal and needs no significant research. Take the vertical that is at the top of this list first, second from the top of this list next and so on, one at a time one after the other. Apply 80: 20 rule on all the rules related to one vertical at a time. Get hold of the 20% of rules which have scope for 80% of corruption within that vertical. Apply steps 1 to 5 above to only these 20% of chosen verticals and that too one at a time one after the other in descending order. This will enormously reduce the resources and time required for steps 1 to 5 and at the same time attack effectively 80% of corruption in each of the vertical that gives maximum headache to citizens today. So, we will have a noticeable improvement in corruption levels as perceived by people in their day-to-day interactions with Govt.

When I say Govt. in this write-up, I mean all public sector undertakings too. We as management consultants are prepared to participate in this noble task of reduction of corruption that is affecting the good common citizens of this country, quietly by simply questioning every conditional clause in every rule and selecting only the vital few conditional clauses that are absolutely essential for the objective meant to be achieved by that rule and retaining these vital few conditional clauses only and dropping all the rest.

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