Why did my colleagues turn to crime?BMJ 2004; 328 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.328.7447.1083 (Published 29 April 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:1083
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--"On the other hand, clever but arrogant individuals can always find
loopholes in bureaucratic barriers, as our colleagues have shown—misplaced
creativity, to put it mildly"--Joma Palo,BMJ 2004; 328: 1083
Prof Palo's 'personal view' is another eye-opener for us all.The
Finnish authorities should be commended for pursuing and briging to
justice, such high profile people who have systematically plundered
research funds.I wonder whether matters of such nature would be pursued
with same tenacity in the UK. Of course it is not just high-ranking
individuals who resort to corrupt practices;look at Enron and
Parmalat.Even organisations like the BMA have been accused of corruption and mismanagement
by one of its own senior officials,Mr Nizam Mamode, though not in respect
of research money, but its members' funds. It has also been accused of institutional racism.
Palo's article,among other things,reiterates the importance of
independent and impartial investigation of serious allegations of potential fraud.If
the version of events of accused were accepted without challenge--simply
because they were high-profile,influential people in Finalnd and in
research & scientific fields--then this large scale fraud might not
have been unearthed.
Drawing some analogy from the above,in the light of allegations of
financial impropriety that the BMA is facing,the only wise option for the
BMA is to face an inedependent inquiry.Only that will put the matter to
rest,one way or the other.Self-rejection of allegations of financial impropriety, might
look as if it is another method of "misplaced creativity" and I presume
the BMA will be reluctant to give such an impression.
05 May 2004
Hospital Doctor, 22 January 2004.
I fervently believe that allegations of financial impropriety within the BMA should be
investigated independently. In the circumstances, I consider that the Serious Fraud
Office(SFO) is the most appropriate body to carry out such investigation.
Competing interests: No competing interests