I have a great idea for a study, survey or even educated-guess-calculation. Why not try to calculate how many man-hours are wasted on procedures, implemented with the aim of protection against corruption?
I, for one, think it would be mind-blowing. World shattering to such a degree, it may not be that good an idea after all, serving only to plunge us all into depression. The very thought of what we all could – and should – be doing instead? Shortened work days? More useful research? I have no idea.
One thing is for sure, we spend at least one third of our time attending to tasks of this nature. I would venture to say it could even be as much as half.
Keep in mind, corruption infiltrates even the lowest of levels. It is not reserved for the mighty. If you lie on a time sheet, you are corrupt. If you take more than one pen from the supply cupboard, you are corrupt. Corrupt: “having or showing a willingness to act dishonestly in return for money or personal gain.”
Any dishonesty equates to corruption. The more corruption, the more procedures designed to combat it. The more procedures, the more time you and I spend doing useless work and jumping through the useless-work-hoops of others.