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14

JUNE 2016

|

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

B

ribespot

is a website and mobile

app containing an interactive

map updated in real time that allows

users to anonymously document

incidents of corruption, including

where and why they were forced to

pay a bribe to government officials

or for services like health care or

education.

Bribespot

was founded in 2007 by

three web developers in Estonia, first

as an app, then as a website. It is not

affiliated with a country or organiza-

tion, and continues to operate as a

non-profit, with the goal of expanding

into all countries in which corruption

is an inescapable part of life for most

people. It has been featured and

promoted by the BBC and Voice of

America.

Users of the site can explore posts

from all over the world. Clicking a pin

on the map will bring you to a short

description of the bribe, chiefly the

address and amount, and sometimes

a brief commentary by the person

reporting. Documentation is not

always formal or comprehensive,

as it is self-reported, but in most

instances the description quite

clearly represents an instance of

corruption.

At any given time, bribes appear

to be recorded on all six inhabited

continents, with consistent docu-

mentation in Ukraine, Thailand, India

and Mexico.

Bribespot

can be accessed in

multiple languages including English,

Thai, Spanish, Portuguese, Hindi,

Bahasa Indonesian, Khmer and

Romanian. It works best as a phone

application, but can also be used on

personal computers. In countries

where there is no official corruption

reporting mechanism, Bribespot

gives citizens a voice to broadcast

their experiences to the world.

—Shannon Mizzi,

Editorial Assistant

SITE OF THE MONTH: Bribespot.com (

http://bribespot.com/en/)

Sopko emphasizes that what is needed

is the political will to reform and the

creation of some incorruptible entities

to pursue the task of fighting corruption.

Hopefully, he notes, Afghanistan Presi-

dent Ashraf Ghani has requested SIGAR’s

assistance in repatriating funds stolen

from the Kabul Bank by way of fraudulent

loans.

He has also asked SIGAR to become

part of a new task force he plans to cre-

ate, and promised full access to relevant

banking and financial records.

SIGAR—a small agency with approxi-

mately 200 employees, including more

than two dozen in Afghanistan—was

established by Congress in 2008 to watch

over the now $113 billion U.S. tax dollars

spent on reconstruction in Afghanistan

and to prevent their waste, fraud or abuse.