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I am delighted that Murray agreed to pass on a few words from me in tribute to Jeremy and especially the work on national integrity systems and his grand vision of the role it would play.
Although I had been working with TI since 1995 I did not meet Jeremy until 1998. There was an instant connection and I was proud to become one of Jeremy’s many friends. The first point of connection was that we had both seen that the Queensland reforms of the early 1990s were qualitatively different from the then popular ‘Hong Kong model’ – i.e. a strong anti-corruption law, a strong ICAC to enforce it and an independent judiciary to try it. The Queensland reforms went much further, involving a mutually reinforcing set of norms, laws and institutions that not only made corruption more difficult but better government more likely. I had called it an ethics regime which OECD renamed an ‘ethics infrastructure.’ Jeremy called it an ‘integrity system’ the name that stuck.
I worked with Jeremy on several projects including improving TI’s (Transparency International Secretariat's) measurement of corruption and, of course, National Integrity Systems Assessments. After that I had the pleasure of working with him on projects with TIRI. There were several he invited me to join in that I could not do because of time constraints – including the NIS Country studies project and his optimistic attempts to persuade dodgy presidents from Abuja to Islamabad that stamping out corruption was the best thing they could do for their country.
But his fertile mind was not just a constant source of ideas for new ways to persuade officials to avoid corruption and design institutions that would catch them if they didn’t. He also had a grand vision of how they would all fit together. He suggested that we needed to improve both our measurement of corruption and the variables within integrity systems that made them more or less effective against corruption. In the latter, he wanted the country studies as a start. He saw country studies as ‘tick box’ studies of which institutions from a standard list a particular country had and how effective they were. The National Integrity Systems Assessments looked beyond the standard list and started with the institutions there were – and studied the interactions between them to understand the extent to which they were a system. Other elements involved educating for integrity through TIRI and a network of partners of which we were proud to be one.
I was sorry I could not help Jeremy secure that vision through tying the elements together. But the vision is there and is, for me, a key part of his legacy. It would be great to form a team to realize it.
TI has been thinking about how to develop NIS work. NIS country studies have taken on some of the attributes of NISAs and are increasingly being called by that name. In the lead up to the G20 I suggested a workshop on national integrity systems – something that Prof AJ Brown wanted to run with.
In the meantime, I concentrated on the Global Integrity Summit which looked at the ethics and integrity dimension of the G20 agenda which attracted speakers from most G20 countries and 400 registrants. Both were great successes and can be considered as part of his legacy.
But I would like to think we could go further and, like Jeremy, seek to integrate integrity initiatives, involving those inside and outside TI – just as Jeremy did such great work both inside and outside of TI.
Professor Charles Sampford, DPhil (Oxon)
Director, IEGL, The Institute for Ethics, Governance and Law
President, International Institute for Public Ethics
Foundation Dean and Professor of Law and Research Professor in Ethics, Griffith University