A World Cup for Integrity? Thoughts on Corruption and Ethics in Brazil

Engineering News-Record
07.02.14
In this article, Matteson Ellis discusses his perspective on corruption in the Brazilian construction industry, particularly in light of recent audits and reports of abusive practices in World Cup stadium construction projects. "There are many reasons to worry because Brazil has several of the conditions that increase the risk of corruption," Ellis said. "They include too-cozy relationships between the construction industry and the government, with four of the six top campaign donors in the 2010 election coming from the industry." Brazil's regulatory requirements, typically requiring permitting, can be quite onerous, he said. "The more complicated the regulations, the more numerous the government officials involved and the more discretion exercised by each one. This arrangement means more room for bribery; as we know, the contract values for stadiums dwarf the amount of possible bribes." The detection of potentially corrupt practices stemming from the World Cup games has also triggered discussions about the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, Ellis said.
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