What ails the U.S? Integrity Indicators

"The United States received a strong overall score (85 out of 100), with a 90 score on legal framework and 79 on actual implementation, which reveals some gaps between in the existence of anti-corruption mechanisms and its practical implementation. What ails the U.S.?" "The U.S. received its lowest score in the National Ombudsman sub-category (46 out of 100, which results of assessing the existence of laws and its practical implementation). The ombudsman, defined as an entity whose primary mandate is to investigate the actions of government on the behalf of common citizens, is a mostly unfamiliar role in the U.S. With no single national ombudsman agency specifically charged with seeking out and documenting abuses of power, data suggests the U.S. can improve its government oversight on behalf of ordinary citizens." "Political Finance was the second lower category due most notably to the post-2010 Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United regulations governing the political financing of parties. The U.S. scored only 29 out of 100 on the effectiveness of its party financing regulations and 25 out of 100 in its ability to effectively regulate contributions made to individual political candidates. The new, broader “limits” on individual and corporate donations to political parties, as well as the greater difficulty in enforcing them, renders them virtually meaningless in regulating campaign financing." "Judicial branch conflicts of interest safeguards also need to be improved. For example, although federal judges must file financial asset disclosure reports, no independent audits are required. Moreover, citizens cannot easily access the asset disclosure reports, and, when they are accessible, they often lack important details or are incomplete." "One area that shows improvement is the whistle-blowing protections with new whistle-blowing laws protecting private-sector employees who report corruption. However, in practice, implementation of whistle-blowing protections lacks consistent application across agencies."

Source: Global Integrity Report, "Key Findings from the Global Integrity Report," 2011. From http://www.globalintegrity.org/report/findings#us [verified 4/15/14]

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