Monday, March 21, 2011

IT To Root-Out Corruption


For its most recent and very important anti corruption articles please visit :

http://anticorruptionfight.blogspot.com

By: Valerian Texeira.

(First Published in February 2008. Latest revised edition 14th May

2011)

Abstract: - This Paper basically contends that; ‘almost all of the economic crimes popularly known as corruption, occurs primarily because of the economic system facilitating surreptitious or illicit money transactions. The CASH MONEY PLAYS THE KEY FACILITATOR ROLE, as it enables the unscrupulous people to make the illicit money transactions and keep it without leaving any concrete records or evidences so to escape from its public, legal scrutiny. It is also called as "Willful Hiding# or concealment of money. Thankfully the good news is that the Information Technology (IT) today with its innovative “Electronic (E)Money Transaction” including its most recent Near Field Communication (NFC) mobile phone money transaction technology, if made mandatory in combination with ‘Bio-metric Identity’ in all bank accounts, can enable the Governments to root-out most economic crimes, as well as the other crimes. Only if there is a political will to get it done’.

Introduction:

Thanks to the Information Technology (IT) era that our world galloping in today. With its wide-spreading broadband Internet connections, ushering in a new economic age of E-commerce, E-business. Most important is its innovative electronic or the e-money (“credit card” its partial form) transaction technology, IN WHICH THE MONEY PAYMENT/RECEIPT IN-BETWEEN ANY TWO PARTIES NECESSARILY CONDUCTED THROUGH A “THIRD PARTY”, A BANK OR FINANCIAL INSTITUTION THAT PROVIDES THIS MOST IMPORTANT “FINANCIAL SERVICE” AND IN THE PROCESS ALL ITS MONEY TRANSACTION “INFORMATION” GETS INSTANTLY RECORDED in the digital data storage of this registered public financial institution (Bank). Under which it is impossible for anyone to cheat, deny or hide the true accounts of their money and all its transaction track records. Thereby when ordered for its legal enquiry, public investigation of economic crimes, all the money transaction records can be made available before the judicial authorities and the general public to prosecute and punish the guilty behind any reasonable doubts. This provides the historical opportunity to the Governments to completely Root-Out most (if not all) of the economic crimes or corruption from the human society.

Traditional Reason For Hiding CASH Money -- Its Main Drawback:

Traditionally the genuine reason for people to keep their money hidden and not to display its true amounts to the public is to PROTECT it from getting stolen, burgled or looted. Most importantly the fear of getting robbed, or lost while carrying it around for the transaction. Nevertheless, from ages the cash money remained indispensable or quintessential for the economy to conduct the value (commodity) exchange or the trade most efficiently. However today this newly emerging innovative Electronic Money Transaction (EMT) system can fulfill all the needs of the traditional CASH money transaction far more efficiently. Together with, it would entirely remove all such potential threats or the genuine fears of robbery, stealing, theft, by this revolutionary digital monetary system.

By the way, the main drawback of the traditional cash money transaction is that it is impossible practically to keep and maintain the records, accounts of ALL cash money transactions occurring in every place and at every time 24 hours in a day and 365 days in a year for all its legal, public scrutiny. Its paper work and storage cost alone would be so enormous let alone its labor cost of keeping the accounts and other factors. It is only the Information Technology today with its revolutionary E-money transaction record keeping system, practically enables the society to accomplish it. This document marks its beginning.

Money Basically A Public TRUST:

Money is basically a public TRUST. It puts a social responsibility and the legal obligation on all those who owns it over and above a given (taxable) limit that they should maintain and submit its truthful accounts before the designated public authorities for its due legal scrutiny and not to use it for any unlawful, illicit purposes. However in the conventional cash money delivery between any two parties got no such effective mechanism to monitor and record the money movements and know all its present locations all the times to prevent it from getting misused. Thus it becomes possible for the unscrupulous individuals to totally hide its true account and submit false accounting before the legal authorities in breach of its public trust, and engage into many kinds of its “misuse”, clandestine business practices, criminal use or the surreptitious money dealings, illicit money transactions.

Cash Money Hiding Ability Breeds Corruption:

Of course, most of the cash money transaction, business in our world conducted lawfully. However a significant number of this cash money amounting to enormous sums kept hidden away from the legal scrutiny or collected and employed unlawfully called “black money”. The number one among is the ubiquitous economic crime of tax fraud or the tax evasion. Along with its cheating and depriving the public revenue it also puts the other people around in the money market competition into a very disadvantageous position thus pressurizes, encourages or tempts many among them also to commit such crimes. Same is true with other economic crimes and the most common among is the BRIBERY. There are number of other notorious economic crimes like money extortion, money-laundering, narcotic or illegal drug trade, human-trafficking, kidnapping for ransom money etc, I will come to some more of them in the latter sections. It is mainly due to the cash money (currency) basically having this “concealable” property that gives its possessor the ability to hide it from its legal scrutiny thus amass huge amount of illicit or black money and wealth. It begins to spoils the entire economic system, start to breed corruption. Corruption breeds more corruption, crime begets crime.

Cyber Technology Great Promise To Root-Out Corruption:

The world today speeding fast into the digital money cyber economic era. E business’s (Amazon, e-bay), Credit Cards, ATMs getting popular everywhere. However most of the every day money transactions buying and selling trade payments still dominated by the century old printed paper cash currency notes, which is getting more and more inefficient, burdensome and getting corrupted day by day in the face of the sheer volume of growing economy. The economic crimes get boosted with the progression of cyber economy where huge sums of ill-gotten money can be transferred from one bank to another banks through fake or bogus bank accounts Credit card frauds, banking frauds, huge financial scams getting out of the national governments control, many times spiraling into deep economic crisis’s. Corruption, poverty, unemployment and the INFLATION everywhere! The public demands the government to control it, blames it for the failure and elects a new government. The new government comes with the promise to control it but no governments able to do it so far. Fortunately however now the same cyber technology that gives the worlds Governments the nightmare of growing economic crimes at the same time can also offer a great cyber technological or IT solution to prevent all the economic crimes.

The emerging digital money transaction cyber technology if combined with another advancing cyber technology of the Biometric Identity in the world banking or financial field can effectively deter and get rid of almost all the corruption that happening today. In fact establishing a cyber based financial network system with biometric identity not only plausible but INEVITABLE IN THE FUTURE! In this regard, most importantly the ubiquitous cell phones going to play a major role in making all money payments in the future as the experts predict “Cashless Future” with the mobile phones equipped with the NFC (Near Field Communication) chips can revolutionize the entire money payment transaction system in the financial sector. These cell phones conduct everyday peoples money transactions big or small with their unassailable biometric identity password crucial in preventing the identity fraud so make a safe and secure digital money payment. This enables the Governments to bring in the two most important IT Anti-corruption measures that could completely root-out corruption from the world.

The most recent and updated (18th April 2011) version of the NFC feature related to this paper given in my blog posthttp://bit.ly/fN90iE Which I feel most important for the readers to know on this subject matter.

The Two Main IT Anti-Corruption Monetary Measures

1).Introduce Mandatory Biometric Identity (MBID) in All Bank Accounts:

The first and foremost important IT Anti-Corruption Monetary Measure that I call upon the Government is to introduce a compulsory or Mandatory Biometric Identity (MBID) along with the name address and signature in all bank accounts. Thereupon it should be extended into the registration of ownership of all valuables, properties, assets, wealth document records.

The most important principle of having a MBID for securing or obtaining the bank accounts is to prevent the fake or bogus identity fraud in it. With the MBID one can immediately identify and find out every bank, financial accounts of a (any) person accused of committing an economic crime (be it a tax evasion, bribery, embezzlement and the whole range of it including terrorist financing). Searching it out with a pin-point (BID) accuracy among those banks, properties billions or trillions of records. It is impossible to anyone to fake their Biometric Identity. So the MBID in all bank accounts is the most important perquisite to root-out corruption.


2).Bring-in Mandatory Electronic Money Transaction (MEMT) Replacing The Cash Currency:

Make it mandatory or obligatory on all people to conduct their every money receipt/payment above a given amount in the form of electronic money transaction through their bank to the others bank account, replacing the old traditional cash paper currency. Most importantly in case they make the cash currency deposits or withdrawals above the given amount then it should undergo enquiry about its detailed accounts and bills. Also the payments for things, services, materials pertaining to important security matters (cell phones, credit cards, recharge, rentals, travels, weapons, explosives etc.) should be only conducted through the e-money or the credit card even its amount remains below the given mandatory money transaction sum. In this MEMT setup, the money payment in bank cheques (Check) to others accounts by all means remains perfectly legitimate.

To make the MEMT more effective as an extension, the Governments needs to phase-out or gradually withdraw the higher denomination currencies from the public. The higher denominations currencies have been conveniently used or grossly misused or end up in committing most and major economic crimes. Besides the absent of it would greatly promote the MEMT due to its various contributing factors including the enquiry placed on the cash currency deposit and withdrawals and the MEMT in the security matters. Most importantly however the banks should continue to have those higher denomination currencies even of very high values; a hundred thousand, million even a billion (Dollar, Euro etc) denomination currency bills. However they should be restricted mainly to exchange only between the banks, financial or the monetary institutions.

All BID Supervision Should be Under The Central Social Security Office

The MEMT economic system most importantly requires all people in a nation should have a single universal Social SECURITY Number (USSN) or Individual Person Surety Number or whatever the professional experts like to call it based on each individuals Biometric Identity (BID) mainly for securing or ensuring all their bank financial accounts. Of course, a person may have a number of accounts in several banks at any or many places in the nation but they all should basically identified with their single undeniable BID along with their name address and signature in the Central USSN office. Its main task, first and foremost, it should periodically (monthly, yearly) check and crosscheck all the BID’s of every bank accounts of the nation registered and updated (birth, death) in its central BID data storage server to absolutely make sure under the professional supervision that there is not any kind of BID frauds in the banks. Secondly, it should have the basic authority to access the nations each individuals existing bank financial accounts in details when needed (ordered) for the legal, public investigation of economic crimes. Importantly as well, all the tax eligible people, businesses in the nation should submit their total annual income, including the property accounts (like filing income tax return forms) and pay all their taxes under its jurisdiction. Be it the nations top leaders, presidents, prime ministers, corporate tycoons, CEO’s, down to the common man. All should come under this network of the USSN office jurisdiction system. Together with that authority, it should also have the prime responsibility providing the basic social security, employment or the minimum income guaranty, health insurance, educational aid for every one specially for the weaker sections of the society.

This BID security over the financial accounts also needs to be applied to all fields of valuable commodity transaction, exchange or the handover including exchange of gift, donations, helps (commodities above a given value) property ownership transfer etc. No barter trade of property, precious metals, valuable artifacts should be allowed. All valuable items a person, organizations, institutions owning registered as property with its records under the USSN’s income tax office.

Such a mandatory electronic money transaction economic system operating under the USSN network that keeps accounts of almost every money transaction would make all individuals and the businesses financial accounts completely open or transparent before the legal or the public scrutiny. It would basically dissuade or deter people from engaging in any of the economic crimes or corruptions because that essentially leaves the electronic money trail as clear evidence that could be impossible for anyone to get-rid-of.

Some Main Economic Crimes IT Could Prevent:

Tax fraud and the bribery are the two major economic crimes that this MEMT can undoubtedly prevent. Apart from it, the counterfeit money, money-laundering, kidnapping ransom money payment, the cash money robbery/theft/ stealing, etc., will become a thing of the fast in a fully pledged MEMT system where there is absolutely no printed paper Cash currency money to carry it out in the first place! Black marketing, illegal hording, all kinds of smuggling, human trafficking, narcotic or illegal drugs trade, weapons, mafia, ‘Terrorist Finance’ etc., every one of those accounts will be absolutely exposed with pin-point accuracy under the BID based MEMT economic system (explained above) so those culprits days will be numbered.

Credit card fraud/fake/theft, or the fear of getting it lost and its misuse mostly will disappear. With its BIDN/MEMT network system in place it would be highly difficult for the fraudsters to buy things online with complete anonymity or to commit any of the credit card crimes and to get away with it. After all in such electronic money network system all proceeding money transactions can be immediately traced back to its preceding accounts and all the other accounts that transacted with it would reveal its all round true connections.

Corporate business scams, misappropriation of public funds, misuse in the public distribution system, developmental project money embezzlement, poverty scheme money swindling, buying of the bureaucracy, police, judiciary, politician for money, none can escape from this constantly vigilant digital money surveillance or scanning technology. On the other hand it could also prevent those malicious, false accusations, allegations of economic crime, corruptions.

It is not possible for me to list out all those economic crimes that it can prevent, in this document. Nevertheless I should finally mention a most important point briefly in this regard. The root-cause of most of the property crimes, murders, sex crimes, social injustices, environmental degradation, violent retaliations many (if not most) times, motivated by or against the surreptitious or the shrouded money transactions that the traditional cash money transaction economic system allows. Replacing it with this new and transparent MEMT economic system can greatly prevent it. Besides all of which, as a bonus, it can also provide the government with an entirely new kind of financial control device to check inflation, stock market crash etc economic crisis's. Not to mention, many (if not most) times the main cause of it lies in the corrupt or unscrupulous trading practices.

Anti-Terrorism: MBID/MEMT To Track Down Terrorist

Besides combating corruption, a fully pledged MBID/MEMT can also work as powerful Anti-terrorism machinery, which can tremendously help the government security agencies to track down the criminals specially the terrorist. When a terrorism investigation ordered, this system can concretely (electronically) trace back every day PHYSICAL movement, location, phone call, contact of the suspect based on his/her every day buying and the money payment for things, services, material that he /she had made, which includes any such things that the suspects left behind the crime scene. This MBID/MENT network leaves behind an unmistakable physical evidence electronic trail on whatever things it touches, which is impossible to get rid off.

By the way, the MBID/MEMT system works quite differently or more fully in combating terrorism than in combating corruption. In the former the entire money transaction (or the absence of it) in the suspect bank account can show the concrete evidence to prove or disprove the involvement in the given crime but in the latter it is only the illicit money transaction that can prove or disprove the corruption.

Poverty Eradication Achievable Within Few Years:

Poverty eradication would become a definitely possible and achievable goal under this MEMT system within a few years. First of all as I mentioned it before, the prime responsibility of the USSN is to provide the basic social security, employment, the minimum income guaranty, basic food, shelter, education health for all people and the government will have enough money needed to do it. Just imagine the amount of money when almost all tax revenues gets collected by the prevention of all the tax evasion or the fraud alone! It could provide more than enough money for poverty eradication programs. At the same time the USSN system with it biometric ID, would mostly prevent the unscrupulous people from swindling the welfare aid money in the name of poor. Moreover when the basic ground of all those economic crimes gets removed, most of the money that used to drain into that corruption channel, now redirected into the legal economy and into the social developmental programs.

Legitimate Businesses Nothing To Fear:

People who conduct honest, responsible business practices have nothing to fear from this MEMT economic system. In fact, it can very much fulfill the vision of the UN Human Rights Principles particularly the UN Global Compact tenth Principle, which specifically sates: “ Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery”. Responsible businesses would rather greatly benefit from it, because it would create a very conducive atmosphere to practice a corruption free, progressive economy in the absent of the corrupt, criminal enterprise (tax fraud, bribe, extortion, etc.) as the latter are the worst enemies of the honest businesses. Most important of all is that there will be no restrictions or limits imposed on people in their legitimate money earnings; profit making or owning money or property of any huge amounts. One can be a billionaire or a trillioniar, provided all their businesses money transaction remain “TRANSPARENT” under, the MEMT and that information remains open to the democratic public, USSN's legal scrutiny. In fact the Government should encourage businesses, small and big, by providing them with more opportunities, removing many of those trade barriers, hurdles and most importantly by lowering the taxes.

Only Unscrupulous People Will Get Terrified:

It is only the unscrupulous people who engage in the economic crimes, corruptions, illicit business, will get terrified of it because this MEMT leaves behind the concrete records of the electronic money trail as clear as day the light so they can no longer cover-up its tracks and conceal their crimes, so will be caught with its clear evident get duly prosecuted and sent to prison.

Both Are Complimentary For Each Others Success:

Of course this MEMT economic system perhaps may face some difficulties in its infant or initial stages. It also depends up on place-to-place and countries to countries. It will depend on their social economic and the political system and its development. Nevertheless it is far simpler and easier to implement in the industrially advanced countries as its basic infrastructure already in place there so the developing countries obliged to follow it. In fact it is far easier to implement compared to those tens of thousands of those cumbersome anti-corruption laws! The fundamental difference between the two is that the MEMT is a single wholesome technological solution based on almost fail-safe advanced technology while the latter are hundreds of years old antiquated legal solutions so much fraught with numerous human error and complications. Surprisingly however now they both seems complimentary for each success in the future.

It Needs “Political Will” To Get It Done

It would not intrude in the peoples private or personal life compared with the other electronic devices that are being used in social security for ex; the CC camera's. It would be more like people having a most important cell-phone ID number. There are already more stringent legislations in place that rules, laws that the citizens made to obey as they are legally obliged to submit all their property, money transactions, true accounts before the public or the legal authorities and not to engage in the economic crimes. Today there exist this innovative electronic credit card digital or E-money transaction technology to make it happen. It is now for all the people to see to it that this innovative IT develops to its fullest productive potential that includes its deployment in the prevention of almost all economic crimes, corruptions. What is really needed is the political will to get it done.

Future of Potential Growth

Along with the Government its concerned legislatures, departments, also the private sector mainly the financial institutions, banks, credit card companies combined with the E-commerce/business, online companies, IT biometric sector, have to take the pivotal role in the construction of the building blocks of this system. They will have the enormous potential for growth and a great social responsibility as well to encourage people to participate more and more into this MENT economic system of the future.

A SOCIALIST Revolution Without the Abolition of PRIVATE PROPERTY:

Abolition of cash (paper) currency money and making all money transaction in electronic would bring in a more “just” economic system. A new kind of Democratic Republic Socialist Revolution without the abolition of 'private ownership of means of production' or the "Private Property". A blend of benevolent capitalism and socialism.

Valerian Texeira. St, Joseph Nagar, Jeppu, Manglore-575002.INDIA.

For its most recent and very important anti corruption articles please visit :

http://anticorruptionfight.blogspot.com


Recommended Reading -Web links

Special Reading on E-Money

‘The Potential for a Cashless Future’. BBC Click On Line .

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/click_online/7308362

The 4-Way Battle to Control Your Digital Wallet (18TH March 2011)

http://gigaom.com/mobile/the-4-way-battle-to-control-your-digital-wallet/


Anti-Corruption UN Agencies

United Nations Global Compact: http://www.unglobalcompact.org/index.html

Anti-Corruption. Tenth Principle-10 http://www.unglobalcompact.org/AboutTheGC/TheTenPrinciples/principle10.html

UN Office on Drug and Crime: http://www.unodc.org/unodc/index.html

© Copyright 2008 –2011. First published on the month of February 2008. All rights of this publication reserved by the author. This document material information can be freely used for educational , social awareness and other such purposes by mentioning its authors name, except for the commercial use one must obtain permission from the author.

Valerian Texeira. St. Joseph Nagar, Jeppu Mangalore -575002 INDIA


1 comment:

Anna Hazare Supporter said...

Thanks for this article, It was a fantastic read which was extremely helpful. Anna Hazare anti corruption