Political Corruption Among US Employees – What Can You Do to Prevent It?
Political corruption or malcorruption is the improper use of personal powers or their influence for personal gain or illegitimate personal gain, usually at the expense of another individual or group. This includes political candidates and elected officials, senior citizens, judges, members of the Armed Services, teachers, and other public servants. Politicians are the most affected by corruption, but private corporations, nonprofits, and individuals also suffer the consequences of improper use of power.
Political corruption has been a problem for many years in the United States and throughout the world, but until recently there were few attempts to resolve the problem with the public sector employees. In recent years however, there have been more government corruption and malpractice investigations involving politicians than any other category. The results have been very discouraging. Unfortunately, there are more public employees being investigated for corrupt activity that involves their own personal gain.
Public officials, including those in the United States government, must abide by a Code of Conduct to avoid corruption. These Code of Conduct provisions were written to protect the American people from abuse of power by public officials. They also promote a more ethical workplace environment. When public officials commit offenses against the Code of Conduct, they face serious penalties, including criminal prosecution. However, these types of cases are very rare in most states.
Many people believe that the federal government corruption is an issue only in the United States. But in the past decade, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has made many investigations into the activities of federal government employees in several states including Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Washington D.C. Some investigations have found evidence of public corruption at the Department of Defense, Internal Revenue Service, Department of Homeland Security, and Department of State.
While the FBI is responsible for carrying out most federal government’s investigations, the U.S. Attorney General is the primary investigator and prosecutor in the cases of all state and local officials. In addition, the U.S. Attorney General is required to conduct investigations in cases that involve public corruption, fraud, embezzlement, tax crimes, and civil rights violations involving public employees, as well as in cases concerning any violation of the Freedom of Information Act and whistle blowing cases involving police officers.
Private corporations and nonprofits are also suffering the consequences of corruption among their employees, such as in the case of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Even though the BP spill was a disaster and resulted in thousands of deaths, it caused substantial damage to the Gulf Coast region and to the financial health of many residents, thereby requiring massive cleanup and expensive repairs.