"Show me a country with poor record keeping systems, and I will show you a poor country every time"
The fight against corruption, in Liberia, is not about integrity. It is about having RECORD SYSTEMS that can adequately track all transactions. Most African nations, Liberia included, are woefully deficient in their record keeping systems.
How come Liberians who exist in the West seem to not have these "integrity" problems? As soon as they get to Liberia, their "lack of integrity" shows up. Because in the West, record keeping systems exist that will catch them more often than not, so they do not risk committing the offenses.
The DEFAULT proposition is "you will be caught." In Africa, the DEFAULT proposition is "you will NOT be caught."
In other words, people in the West ARE FORCED to be honest, whether they want to or not, BECAUSE of the systems in place.
Another thing that forces honesty, in the West, is the REDUCED USE of CASH for financial transactions. Those credit/debit card transactions force the transactions into RECORD KEEPING SYSTEMS.
In Africa, the vast majority of the transactions are cash transactions, which leave room for theft, at every collection point of the transfer of said transaction.
As long as we continue to look at it as an "integrity" problem we will miss the mark. It is a lack of systems problem.
You can have systems of Accountability without computer systems
What process is used to standardize the collection of data for people requesting or receiving a government service/benefit?
It is not just about "computer systems."
The PAPER FORM is the most BASIC CONSTRUCT for data collection and management. In developed countries, people requesting something from the government must fill out a form. Design of those forms and their elements are controlled by a central entity and the agency requesting the benefit/action is being requested.
In the US, that federal agency is the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
-The elements and/or wording on those forms can only be altered after a rigorous process between the agency and OMB.
-Any computer systems which capture the data from those forms must be updated before a new version of the form is put into circulation.
-PUBLIC NOTICE must be given, as to the changes to the form.
-These notices and regulations are published in the Federal Register.
Once a new version of a form is released, the old version CAN no longer be used to request or submit information to the government.
So I am not speaking only about computers in any discussion of DATA SYSTEMS. Data systems include all instruments used to collect data.