Ecuador - 9.1-CorruptionEcuador - Corruption
Corruption is a serious problem in Ecuador. Ecuadorian law provides criminal penalties for corruption by public officials, but the government does not implement the law effectively, and officials may engage in corrupt practices with impunity. Ecuador ranked 120 out of 176 countries surveyed for Transparency International's 2016 Corruption Perceptions Index and received a score of 31 out of 100. Two high-profile cases of alleged official corruption involving state-owned petroleum company PetroEcuador and Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht illustrate the significant challenges that confront Ecuador with regards to corruption.
Illicit payments for official favors and theft of public funds reportedly take place frequently. Dispute settlement procedures are complicated by the lack of transparency and inefficiency in the judicial system. Offering or accepting a bribe is illegal and punishable by imprisonment for up to five years. The Controller General is responsible for the oversight of public funds and there are frequent investigations and occasional prosecutions for irregularities.
Ecuador ratified the UN Anticorruption Convention in September 2005. Ecuador is not a signatory to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery. The 2008 Constitution created the Transparency and Social Control branch of government, tasked with preventing and combating corruption, among other things. In December 2008, President Correa issued a decree that created the National Secretariat for Transparency to investigate and denounce acts of corruption in the public sector. Both entities can conduct investigations into alleged acts of corruption. Responsibility for prosecution remains with the Office of the Prosecutor General.
Through the Function of Transparency and Social Control, alleged acts of corruption can be reported by dialing 159 within Ecuador. The Council for Citizen Participation and Social Control also maintains a web portal for reporting alleged acts of corruption: http://www.cpccs.gob.ec.
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