Corruption goes through the big door


By Germán Bernate

Bogota, Colombia


The new Romanian government chaired by Prime Minister Sorin Grindeaunu, who had been in office only a few months ago, promulgated his first Decree. Decriminalize cases of corruption when the amount stolen is less than $ 50,000 (fifty thousand dollars). That is, it is presented in Society to corruption and is accepted to have its own legitimacy. This decree is new: it legalizes the robbery and exempts from all responsibility those who infringe the Laws.

Many Colombians are surprised by this novel way of governing. Some, ironically, wonder when the Executive will consider these lessons from Romania to proceed in a similar way. Or, maybe, it’s not necessary?

Specialists in Project Management observe the so-called ‘Best Practices’. These include, among others: appropriate training for all stakeholders, information management, generation of ideas for improvement, lessons learned from other projects, comparison with work done in other countries with different cultures, audits, observing standards, and many more .

In parallel there are the so-called ‘Bad Practices’. These are not found in the Procedural Manuals of any company, but all citizens know them well. Among the most famous are some used by sellers: a) lie to the customer with false promises about the benefits of the products and services promoted. B) hide from the client: never appears, refuses to answer phone calls. C) delivering poor quality products. D) non-realistic advertising.

But there are other ‘Bad Practices’ that are also present in Romania: bribery and corruption. These are presented most notably in construction and infrastructure. For the award of contracts mechanisms are designed to present the requirements to the proponents and emphasis is placed on transparency. After the elaboration of the contract comes a mandatory management: the obtaining of authorizations of the most varied requirements. Complex and not always useful operation.

Risk appears. This is an important complement to the project’s governance. This, the Risk, provides a series of ‘Best Practices’ that has the mission to control the action and prevent complex situations. Controls include documentation, monitoring and control, communications, monitoring of contracts, among many.

Risk is generous in its support. Your first contribution is the definition of the corresponding procedure: that is, what should be done and what is not allowed. Then it is in charge of identifying them, understanding what is involved and setting priorities. Qualitative and quantitative analyzes are then performed. This to establish the true impact they have. A guideline is established to know what to respond to each risk and how its management is controlled.


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About the Author

Germán Bernate    

Bogota, Colombia



Germán Bernate
is an Electronic Engineer (Universidad Distrital – 1962) and Master in Project Management (UCI University of Costa Rica 2009). He worked 31 years for IBM in Colombia in managerial and technical positions. He was work with NCR Colombia and served as Program Manager and Project Manager. Founder and CEO of Almagesto  (2004), a company dedicated to consulting and training in the areas of strategic planning and project management. In 1992 he won the first prize in the fourth edition of Doctor Zumel Literary Contest in Madrid Spain. President of the Board of Teatro Colón for five years (2007-2011). Led the Project Management program at Universidad Piloto August 2008 to December 2009. Parquesoft Director during the period from August 2010 to March 2011. Professor at universities Distrital Francisco Jose de Caldas, Nacional, Javeriana, Pamplona, Tecnológica de Bolívar, Andes, Externado, America and Piloto. Co-founder Colombia Chapter PMI (Project Management Institute) and its president for three terms. Co-founder of the Colombian Association ACGePro Project Management IPMA Member Association (International Project Management Association). He has published several books, including ‘El año 2000 al acecho. La crisis del Y2K afectará a su computador, aprenda a controlarla’on the issue of the change of the millennium. In February 2013, published as the book ‘Gerencia de Proyectos: aplicaciones en salud’. Computerworld Editorial Board Member since 1996 and international correspondent for PM World Today eJournal and PMForum.org from 2007-2011. Contact email: [email protected]

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