You also may have the option of reporting corruption to the following alternatives:
1. Reporting to a civil society organisation
2. Reporting to journalists and media outlets
3. Reporting to politicians or political entities
Civil Society Organisations are formed by groups of individuals that represent an interest, purpose or value. The type of work done can range from research, policy recommendation, legal advice, legal actions, advocacy and political reform. Some CSOs do corruption-related work and have specialized teams dedicated to challenge it.
Reporting corruption to a CSO can allow you to get support from a group of specialists without having to pay fees. Due to their work, CSOs usually have networks and access to media outlets that help them raise awareness about the issues they work on.
Reporting to a CSO is also relatively easy and safe since there are usually reporting channels designed specifically for these cases.
|Expertise. Some CSOs are specialised in supporting whistleblowers, advocating for change and moving taking legal cases.||Resources. CSOs are often overburdened with many cases and have insufficient resources.|
|Cost. If CSOs take your issue or case forward, it is free of charge as they are not-for-profit organisations.||Dangers to the CSO. A dangerous case may also pose a risk to the CSO.|
|Media. CSOs often have good access to media and are experienced in handling the media. That can be helpful when the reporting person/victims are vulnerable.||GONGOs. In some countries there are government oragnised NGOs that may not be independent. It is not always obvious who they are or what are their motives.|
|Networks. CSOs often have good connections to other CSOs who can also help.|
|Movements. CSOs can sometimes mobilise people and start campaigns if that helps the case or raises awareness.|
Journalists and media outlets follow and publish the stories on corruption networks. Due to their training and specialisation, journalists have the necessary tools to gather testimonies, access public information, and connect a corruption case with other stories. In well-functioning democracies, journalists enjoy strong source protection, which means that save for very exceptional cases they cannot be obligated even by authorities to disclose their sources of information.
Media outlets help spread the stories that journalists research. As journalists and editors are independent in their decision whether they want to investigate and report on a story, there is no guarantee that what you share with them will be published.
If you would like to know more about the corruption you detected or to put pressure into a public body to follow or investigate your case, reporting to a journalist or media outlet may be appropriate.
You know the media of your country and which outlets publish good investigative articles. If you have evidence of a previously unpublished grand corruption case it may also make sense to get in touch with one of the major investigative journalism networks. Examples include:
Example: Walmart Mexico Bribery Case
An investigation made by The New York Times, an American newspaper, uncovered a network of corruption of Walmart’s Mexican subsidiaries which involved high level employees who used bribes to secure permits to build new stores. According to the investigation, the company payments were made for more than $24 million, in which Walmart’s executives not only were aware of the situation but they had established a corruption network in the country. It was until the publication of the article of the NYT that the allegations and Walmart’s investigation were publicly disclosed and legal procedures took place.
Social media can also be a good ally. This was discussed in How Can I Report Corruption?
|Awareness. They can focus the public's attention on a case or corrupt activity. They can raise awareness and give visibility of a case and find other victims or whistleblowers who want to speak up.||The news cycle. Because of the news cycle, the media often doesn't have a long attention span and after a short time moves onto a new story.|
|Protection. They and their sources are often well protected by law and the power of publicity.||Powerful interests. Some media are not independent and are influenced by big political/economic interests.|
|Pressure for change. They can exert pressure on public bodies and request remedies to address the wrongdoing.||Bad media practices. The media sometimes disregard the interests of the whistleblowers/victims just for the sake of getting more readers/viewers.|
Individual politicians often have communication channels to listen to what locals in their constituencies have to say.
There may also be investigative/inquiry committees in the legislature that are dedicated to investigating corruption and making anti-corruption policies.
Politicians have access to reporting bodies inside congress and other public bodies. They can ask for attention to be given to your case within congress or conduct a specialized research of your case within their teams.
Unfortunately, many politicians have ties to corruption networks which is why not a risk free channel to report a corruption case.
|Cost. The process should not cost you anything. In most countries, politicians especially those in the parliament or congress have the mandate to investigate and scrutinize the final audit report after the budget has been executed.||Corruption within these institutions. Where corruption has reached highest levels, politicians can be involved and may want to protect their counterparts.|
|Attention. Since politicians and the people involved in political entities are well-known and some of them are opinion leaders, they can help you to make a statement in the media or before public entities to report corruption.||Sanctions. Since politicians have no legal powers, it is difficult for them to bring a case to a criminal, civil or administrative institution to investigate the case.|
|Political misuse of your case. Since politicians have their own agendas, they may use the issue to attack the government or a company for political gain.|