Wanted: Ways to battle corruption

first_imgFor the past few years, Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics has been wrestling with the knotty problem of institutional corruption, the diversion of an institution’s mission in response to legal but undue influences from outside, which often results in a loss of trust among the institution’s constituency.Now the center is seeking a practical way of monitoring institutional corruption, generating ideas from the Harvard community and the public through a contest launched this week with $8,000 in prize money.The Systems to Monitor Institutional Corruption challenge, being conducted with InnoCentive, a company that specializes in arranging such contests, seeks new ideas on how to use the abundant data available from the Internet, government records, watchdog groups, and other sources to highlight and discourage such corruption.Center Director Lawrence Lessig said the contest idea is something of an experiment, and he wasn’t sure what would result from it.“Optimistically, we’ll get fresh thinking on ways to look at the wrong kinds of influence,” Lessig said. “It’s an experiment; we’ll see what we get.”Authorities have fought illegal corruption — such as might result when contractors pay public officials to hire them for government construction projects — for decades, but institutional corruption is tougher to battle, Lessig said. That’s because the practices that enable it are generally legal and within societal norms. Examples include the influence of lobbyists and major campaign donors on elected officials, of pharmaceutical companies on physicians’ prescription practices, and of funding sources on academic researchers.Though campaign donations are legal, for instance, U.S. representatives whose campaign managers insist that they spend time on the phone with wealthy potential donors typically don’t give the same attention to less-wealthy constituents, Lessig said. In addition, when politicians are forced to spend between 30 and 70 percent of their time raising money, that’s less time they can spend attending hearings, drafting legislation, and meeting with constituents.Though many critics agree that the problem needs to be addressed, Lessig said it’s so ingrained in the system that there is a lot of skepticism about whether it can be changed. Still, he said, a nation that tackled Nazism, racism, and sexism in the last century should be able to tackle this one. In fact, he said, with regard to Congress, a single systemwide change — instituting public campaign financing — would go a long way toward eliminating it.“A version of public funding would take care of the problem almost overnight,” Lessig said.Center Research Director Neeru Paharia said that while institutional corruption is as old as institutions themselves, the information age provides an opportunity to address the concerns through access to enormous amounts of electronic data.“What is different now is we do have technology, the Internet, and people who can collect data,” said Paharia.Successful contest entrants will offer ways to highlight meaningful data that goes to the heart of a problem. For example, she said, providing raw numbers on how much money doctors get from pharmaceutical companies may be helpful, but putting those numbers together with physician-prescribing practices would make that data much more meaningful.Contest entries are due by Nov. 8, Paharia said. The prize money will be divided among a few winners, most likely with one top winner and one or two others. What happens next is also open-ended. The lead idea could be fleshed out by Center researchers, or the winner could be engaged to develop it more fully.“It’s not only giving people more information; it’s giving information that’s meaningful,” Paharia said.last_img read more

Jamestown Businesses Encouraged To Partake In St. Patrick’s Day Festivities

first_imgImage by Justin Gould/WNYNewsNow.JAMESTOWN – The Jamestown Community Chamber of Commerce is encouraging local businesses to partake in this year’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities in Downtown Jamestown.The Chamber of Commerce says they will once again turn the Chadakoin River green for St. Patrick’s Day on Saturday, March 14 at 11 a.m. at the Riverwalk in Brooklyn Square.The business group is asking local shops to participate in the day’s activities by offering holiday deals to customers.Businesses interested in participating are asked to contact Joanna Dahlbeck, the Jamestown Community Chamber Coordinator, at [email protected] or call the chamber at 484-1101. The chamber says they are trying to move foot traffic from Brooklyn Square into local businesses for shopping, brunch, or lunch on the day of the event.The event is sponsored by the Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau and M&T Bank. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Fan ditches ‘Son 7’ Spurs top to reveal ‘Lampard 8’ Chelsea jersey

first_imgTHIS is the moment a football fan hilariously ditches his “Son 7” Tottenham shirt to reveal a “Lampard 8” Chelsea one he was wearing underneath.Two goals from Willian had seen the Blues win away at the Tottenham Stadium in a game filled with controversy.3 This fan is seemingly acknowledging his team, Spurs, after their home defeat3 But he was hiding it all along – underneath the ‘Son 7′ shirt’ was a ‘Lampard 8′ oneAnd seemingly this lad decided he wanted to finish the day supporting the winning team.Son’s performance might have been reason enough to ditch the shirt in honour to the South Korean star.On the hour mark he kicked out at Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger while laying on the floor.After consulting VAR referee Anthony Taylor gave the Tottenham man a straight red card – his third of the season.3 The football fan seemed determined to support the winning team on Sunday – and it wasn’t TottenhamOf course the one he was given against Everton for the challenge that led to Andre Gomes breaking his leg was rescinded after the game.But it completed afternoon for Spurs fans, who were also hit by accusations of racism.Most Read In FootballTHROUGH ITRobbie Keane reveals Claudine’s father was ’50-50’ in coronavirus battleTOP SELLERGavin Whelan has gone from League of Ireland to David Beckham’s InstagramPicturedAN EYEFULMeet Playboy model and football agent Anamaria Prodan bidding to buy her own clubExclusiveRIYAD RAIDMan City’s Riyad Mahrez has three luxury watches stolen in £500,000 raidI SAW ROORodallega saw Rooney ‘drinking like madman’ & Gerrard ‘on bar dancing shirtless’NEXT STEPJonny Hayes set to move to English Championship having been let go by CelticIn the minutes after Son was dismissed, Rudiger told his captain Cesar Azpilicueta that one of more home supporters had made monkey chants towards him.He was shockingly caught on camera mimicking the disgraceful actions.Both clubs and the FA have launched investigations on a day that English football was shamed.Antonio Rüdiger accuses Spurs fan of making monkey chants after Son sent off for kicking Chelsea acelast_img read more