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What safeguards are in place to prevent abuse of power?

What safeguards are in place to prevent abuse of power?


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In the U.S., what safeguards are in place to prevent a mentally ill, or just spiteful or incompetent, psychiatrist / psychologist from abusing their position of power? Assuming the person is already practicing.

For example, are there any diagnoses that require an independent second opinion because of the serious consequences of acting on that diagnosis?

Obviously, this is especially important since- given the near complete power someone in this field could have over another person's life trajectory- the field will attract abusive people.


As @ArnonWeinberg mentioned, clinical supervision, detailed in my answer to the previous question will prevent abuse of position.

Clinical supervisors have a duty of care, not only to the supervisee (the therapist), but also the supervisee's clients, and if the supervisor feels that abuse of power is occurring they must refer it to the governing bodies to remove their licence to practice.

If they feel there are any mental health issues preventing the supervisee from acting effectively, then the supervisor will refer the supervisee for therapy. If necessary, they may also take further action to prevent the therapist from causing harm to their clients whilst undergoing therapy. I have added this point to my previous answer mentioned here.


What safeguards are in place to prevent abuse of power? - Psychology

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The Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program Protects Consumers and Taxpayers by Combating Health Care Fraud

Since inception in 1997, the Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control (HCFAC) Program has been at the forefront of the fight against health care fraud, waste, and abuse. Since 2010, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS OIG), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) have been able to expand their capacity to fight fraud and abuse by using powerful, new anti-fraud tools to protect Medicare and Medicaid by shifting from a “pay and chase” approach toward fraud prevention. Through the groundbreaking Healthcare Fraud Prevention Partnership, stronger relationships have been built between the government and the private sector to help protect all consumers.

These focused efforts are successful. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2016, the government recovered over $3.3 billion as a result of health care fraud judgements, settlements and additional administrative impositions in health care fraud cases and proceedings. Since its inception, the HCFAC Program has returned more than $31 billion to the Medicare Trust Funds. In this past fiscal year, the HCFAC program has returned $5.0 for each dollar invested.

The Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), a joint initiative between HHS, OIG, and DOJ, has played a critical role in the fight against health care fraud.

A key component of HEAT is the Medicare Fraud Strike Force – an interagency task force team comprised of OIG and DOJ analysts, investigators, and prosecutors who target emerging or migrating fraud schemes, including fraud by criminals masquerading as health care providers or suppliers.

Since 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force has charged over 3,018 individuals involved in more than $10.8 billion in fraud. Many of these charges have resulted from coordinated, multi-district national takedowns. In June 2016, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force conducted a nationwide health care fraud takedown, which resulted in criminal and civil charges against 301 individuals, including 61 doctors, nurses and other licensed medical professionals, for their alleged participation in health care fraud schemes involving approximately $900 million in false billings. In addition, CMS is suspending payment to a number of providers using its suspension authority. This coordinated takedown is the largest in history, both in terms of the number of defendants charged and loss amount.

Another powerful tool in the effort to combat health care fraud is the federal False Claims Act. In 2016, DOJ obtained over $2.5 billion in settlements and judgments from civil cases involving fraud and false claims against federal health care programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.

Other steps the administration has taken to fight fraud include:

State-of-the-Art Fraud Detection Technology: HCFAC funding also supported HHS OIG’s continued enhancement of data analysis capabilities for detecting health care fraud. HHS OIG continues to use data analysis, predictive analytics, trend evaluation, and modeling approaches to better analyze and target oversight of HHS programs. Analysis teams use data to examine Medicare claims for known fraud patterns, identify suspected fraud trends, and calculate ratios of allowed services as compared to national averages new analytic tools and methods are being developed to perform more innovative and complex data analytics. Combining the expertise of HHS OIG agents, auditors, and evaluators, as well as our HEAT partners, with data analytics and traditional investigative skills has fostered a highly effective model for fighting health care fraud.

Since June 2011, CMS uses the Fraud Prevention System (FPS) on all Medicare fee-for-service claims on a streaming, national basis. Similar to the fraud detection technology used by credit card companies, FPS applies predictive analytics to claims before making payments in order to identify aberrant and suspicious billing patterns. CMS uses leads generated by FPS to trigger actions that can be implemented swiftly.

Enhanced Provider Screening and Enrollment Requirements: Provider enrollment is the gateway to billing the Medicare program, and CMS implemented new critical safeguards in efforts to better screen providers enrolling in the Medicare program. Since 2011, CMS’s enhanced provider screening and enrollment initiatives in Medicare have had a significant impact on removing ineligible providers from the program. Site visits, revalidation and other initiatives have contributed to the deactivation and revocation of more than 652,000 enrollment records.

Health Care Fraud Prevention Partnership (HFPP): The Obama Administration has joined with private insurers, states, and associations in the HFPP to prevent health care fraud on a national scale. To detect and prevent payment of fraudulent billings, HFPP participants exchange information and best practices across the public and private sectors. Since 2013, the HFPP has conducted eight studies that enabled partners, including DOJ, HHS-OIG, FBI, and CMS, states, private plans, and associations to take substantive actions, such as payment system edits, revocations, and payment suspensions to stop fraudulent payments and improve the government’s collective forces against fraud, waste, and abuse.

  • In FY 2016, the HFPP reached a membership level of 70 partner organizations, representing over 65 percent of covered lives within the United States, and an increase of 30 percent since FY 2015. The amount of data collected in support of studies has increased by 300 percent in FY 2016, leading to the performance of new studies, the replication of prior studies with new data, and the attainment of actionable leads.

CMS Fraud Prevention Efforts

CMS is working to ensure that public funds are not diverted from their intended purpose: to make accurate payments to legitimate entities for allowable services or activities on behalf of eligible beneficiaries of federal health care programs. CMS also performs many program integrity activities that are beyond the scope of this report because they are not funded directly by the HCFAC Account or discretionary HCFAC funding. Medicare Fee-for-Service and Medicaid improper payment rate measurement and activities, the Fraud Prevention System, Recovery Audit Program activities, and prior authorization initiatives are discussed in separate reports, and CMS will submit a combined Medicare and Medicaid Integrity Program report to Congress later this year. Some of CMS’ fraud prevention efforts include:


9. What is abuse?

Abuse and neglect take many forms [footnote 2] . Abuse can lead to a violation of someone’s human and civil rights by another person or persons. Abuse can be physical, financial, verbal or psychological. It can be the result of an act or a failure to act.

It can happen when an adult at risk is persuaded into a financial or sexual exchange they have not consented to, or can’t consent to. Abuse can occur in any relationship and may result in significant harm or exploitation.

Some types of abuse are illegal, and in these cases adults who lack capacity are protected by law the same as everyone else. If OPG suspects that a crime against a client has been committed, we refer the matter to the police. Sometimes, an urgent referral is made for the safety of the adult at risk and/or to preserve evidence.

Abuse is a misuse of power and control that one person has over another. Where someone is dependent on another, there is the possibility of abuse or neglect unless enough safeguards are put in place.

Abuse can fall into the following categories [footnote 3] :

Physical

This includes assault, hitting, slapping, pushing, giving the wrong (or no) medication, restraining someone or only letting them do certain things at certain times.

Domestic

This includes psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional abuse. It also covers so-called ‘honour’ based violence.

Sexual

This includes rape, indecent exposure, sexual harassment, inappropriate looking or touching, sexual teasing or innuendo, taking sexual photographs, making someone look at pornography or watch sexual acts, sexual assault or sexual acts the adult didn’t consent to or was pressured into consenting.

Psychological

This includes emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, depriving someone of contact with someone else, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, putting pressure on someone to do something, harassment, verbal abuse, cyber bullying, isolation or unreasonable and unjustified withdrawal of services or support networks.

Financial or material

This includes theft, fraud, internet scamming, putting pressure on someone about their financial arrangements (including wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions) or the misuse or stealing of property, possessions or benefits.

Modern slavery

This covers slavery (including domestic slavery), human trafficking and forced labour. Traffickers and slave masters use whatever they can to pressurise, deceive and force individuals into a life of abuse and inhumane treatment.

Discriminatory

This includes types of harassment or insults because of someone’s race, gender or gender identity, age, disability, sexual orientation or religion.

Organisational

This includes neglect and poor care in an institution or care setting such as a hospital or care home, or if an organisation provides care in someone’s home. The abuse can be a one-off incident or repeated, on-going ill treatment. The abuse can be through neglect or poor professional practice, which might be because of structure, policies, processes and practices within an organisation.

Neglect and acts of omission

This includes ignoring medical, emotional or physical care needs, failure to provide access to educational services, or not giving someone what they need to help them live, such as medication, enough nutrition and heating.

Self-neglect

This covers a wide range of behaviour which shows that someone isn’t caring for their own personal hygiene, health or surroundings. It includes behaviour such as hoarding.

Abuse can take many forms. It might not comfortably into any of these categories, or it might not fit into more than one. Abuse can be carried out by one adult at risk towards another. This is still abuse and should be dealt with. The adult at risk who abuses may also be neglecting him/herself which could also be reason for a safeguarding referral.


Workplace Articles & More

For the past twenty years, I have been carrying out experiments to find out how power is distributed in groups. I have infiltrated college dorms and children’s summer camps to document who rises in power. I have brought entire sororities and fraternities into the lab, capturing the substance and spread of individuals’ reputations within their social networks. I have surreptitiously identified which members of groups are gossiped about, and who receive gossip. To chart the experience of power, I have studied what it feels like to be placed in positions of authority.

Adapted from Dacher Keltner's new book, The Power Paradox: How We Gain and Lose Influence (Penguin Press, May 17, 2016)

Findings from this research converge on an organizing idea: Whereas the Machiavellian approach to power assumes that individuals grab it through coercive force, strategic deception, and the undermining of others, the science finds that power is not grabbed but is given to individuals by groups.

What this means is that your ability to make a difference in the world—your power, as I define it—is shaped by what other people think of you. Your capacity to alter the state of others depends on their trust in you. Your ability to empower others depends on their willingness to be influenced by you. Your power is constructed in the judgments and actions of others. When they grant you power, they increase your ability to make their lives better—or worse.

When we receive power, it feels like a vital force. It surges through the body, propelling the individual forward in pursuit of goals. When an individual feels powerful, he or she experiences higher levels of excitement, inspiration, joy, and euphoria, all of which enable purposeful, goal-directed action. Feeling powerful, the individual becomes sharply attuned to rewards in the environment and quickly grasps what goals define any situation. At the same time, surges of power make him or her less aware of the risks that attend any course of action.

This experience of power propels the individual forward in one of two directions: toward the abuse of power and impulsive and unethical actions, or toward benevolent behavior that advances the greater good.

Power makes us feel less dependent upon others, freeing us to shift our focus away from others to our own goals and desires. Power corrupts in four ways:

  • Power leads to empathy deficits and diminished moral sentiments.
  • Power leads to self-serving impulsivity.
  • Power leads to incivility and disrespect.
  • Power leads to narratives of exceptionalism.

The abuse of power is costly in every imaginable way, from declining trust in the community to compromised performance at work to poor health. By contrast, when individuals use their power to advance the greater good, they and the people whom they empower will be happier, healthier, and more productive.

In my experiments, individuals who were kind and focused on others enjoyed enduring power in schools, workplaces, and military units, avoiding the fall from power that is so common in human social life. That enduring power drives from a steadfast focus on others makes sense in light of what we know: Groups give power to individuals who advance the greater good, and they diminish the standing of those who stray from this principle.

How can we stop ourselves from abusing power? What insights can we glean from science so that we avoid mistakes of the past and make the most of our power? The ethical principles that follow are one approach to enabling people to pursue this aspiration.

1. Be aware of your feelings of power

The feeling of power is like a vital force moving through your body, involving the acute sense of purpose that results when we stir others to effective action. This feeling will guide you to the thrill of making a difference in the world.

People who excel in their power—the physician who improves the health of dozens of people a day, the high school teacher who inches her students toward academic success, the writer whose piece of fiction stirs others’ imaginations—they all know this. They feel the rush of dopamine and vagus nerve activation in the purest moments of empowering others and lifting up the greater good.

If you remain aware of this feeling and its context, you will not be entrapped by myths that power is money, or fame, or social class, or a fancy title. Real power means enhancing the greater good, and your feelings of power will direct you to the exact way you are best equipped to do this.

2. Practice humility

Power is a gift—the chance to make a difference in the world. People who enact their power with humility enjoy more enduring power. Ironically, the more we approach our power, our capacity to influence others, with humility, the greater our power is. Don’t be impressed by your own work—stay critical of it. Accept and encourage the skepticism and the push-back of others who have enabled you to make a difference in the world. Remember that others have enabled you to make a difference in the world, and there is always more work to do.

3. Stay focused on others, and give

The most direct path to enduring power is through generosity. Give resources, money, time, respect, and power to others. In these acts of giving we empower others in our social networks, enhancing our own ability to make a difference in the world. Such acts of generosity are critical to strong societies, and empowered individuals are happier. The more we empower others, the greater good is increased.

So give in many ways. This will prove to be the most important foundation not only of your making a lasting difference in the world but of your own sense of happiness and meaning in life.

4. Practice respect

By directing respect toward others, we dignify them. We elevate their standing. We empower them. That all members of a social collective deserve some basic form of dignity is an ancient basis of equality, and it is expressed in our day-to-day lives through respect. Practicing respect requires work. There is no reward people value more than being esteemed and respected. Ask questions. Listen with intent. Be curious about others. Acknowledge them. Compliment and praise with gusto. Express gratitude.

5. Change the psychological context of powerlessness

We can minimize the tendency of some people to feel below others, so toxic to health and well-being, by practicing the first four principles listed above.

More on Power

Read the Greater Good essay that led to Dacher Keltner's new book: "The Power Paradox."

Jeremy Adam Smith explores the research behind women and power.

We can do more, though. Pick one aspect of powerlessness in the world and change it for the better. The rise in inequality and the persistence of poverty give us many opportunities for such work. Attack the stigma that devalues women. Confront racism. Call into question elements of society—solitary confinement, underfunded schools, police brutality—that devalue people. Create opportunities within your community and workplace that empower those who have suffered disempowerment due to moral mistakes of the past.

Such steps may not feel like the game-changing social revolutions of earlier times, but they are quiet revolutions just the same. In every interaction, we have the opportunity to practice empathy, to give, to express gratitude, and to tell unifying stories. These practices make for social interactions among strangers, friends, work colleagues, families, and community members that are defined by commitment to the greater good, where the benefits people provide one another outweigh the harms they cause.


Related Content

Facial Recognition Surveillance in Congress's Crosshairs

Unmasking the Realities of Facial Recognition

How Are States Responding to Facial Recognition Surveillance?

Facial Recognition Surveillance Doesn't Necessarily Make You Safer

William Lee Adams, “The Truth About Photographic Memory,” Psychology Today, June 9, 2016. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/articles/200603/the-truth-about-photographic-memory Alan Searleman, “Is here such a thing as photographic memory? And if so, can it be learned?” Scientific American, March 12, 2007. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-there-such-a-thing-as/

Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown Law, “The Perpetual Line-Up: Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS),” September 2016. https://www.perpetuallineup.org/sites/default/files/2016-10/21_Texas.pdf

Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968).

7 + Clare Garvie, Alvaro Bedoya, Jonathan Frankle, Georgetown Law Center on Privacy and Technology, The Perpetual Line-Up: Unregulated Police Face Recognition in America(October 18, 2016), Sec. V. https://www.perpetuallineup.org 8 +

Garvie, Bedoya, Frankle, The Perpetual Line-Up: Unregulated Police Face Recognition in America, Sec. I [see note 7].

Kashmir Hill, “The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know It,” New York Times, February 10, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/18/technology/clearview-privacy-facial-recognition.html

Carpenter v. United States, 138 S. Ct. 2206 (2018). [Internal citations omitted]

For example, in Detroit development and implementation of the city’s facial recognition system before public debate led to concern and questions over whether facial recognition was built into the city’s Green Light and traffic cameras. Michael E. Duggan, “Mayor Duggan: I Oppose Use of Facial Recognition Technology for Surveillance,” City of Detroit, July 18, 2019. https://detroitmi.gov/news/mayor-duggan-i-oppose-use-facial-recognition-technology-surveillance.

Patrick Grother, Mei Ngan, Kayee Hanaoka, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Face Recognition Vendor Test (FRVT) Part 3: Demographic Effects, NISTIR 8280 (December 19, 2019): 2. https://doi.org/10.6028/NIST.IR.8280 Joy Buolamwini and Timnit Gebru, “Gender Shades: Intersectional Accuracy Disparities in Commercial Gender Classification,” Proceedings of Machine Learning Research, vol. 81 (2018). http://proceedings.mlr.press/v81/buolamwini18a/buolamwini18a.pdf Joy Buolamwini and Inioluwa Deborah Raji, “Actionable Auditing: Investigating the Impact of Publicly Naming Biased Performance Results of Commercial AI Products,” AIES ‘19: Proceedings of the 2019 AAAI/ACM Conference on AI, Ethics, and Society (2019).

Grother, Ngan, Hanaoka, Face Recognition Vendor Test (FRVT) Part 3: Demographic Effects, 2 [see note 12].

Task Force on Facial Recognition Surveillance, Facing the Future of Surveillance [see note 1] Garvie, Bedoya, Frankle, The Perpetual Line-Up: Unregulated Police Face Recognition in America, Sec. V [see note 7].

15 + Garvie, Bedoya, Frankle, The Perpetual Line-Up: Unregulated Police Face Recognition in America, Sec. III [see note 7]. 16 + Task Force on Facial Recognition Surveillance, Facing the Future of Surveillance, Sec. II [see note 1]. 17 +

“CCTV feeds facial recognition systems for law enforcement,” Biometric Technology Today, vol. 2015, no. 4 (April 2015): 3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0969476515300539

Jesse Davis West, “For Law Enforcement, The Cost of a False Arrest is More Than Just Bad Press,” FaceFirst, October 20, 2017. https://www.facefirst.com/blog/law-enforcement-cost-false-arrest-far-just-bad-press/

Cognitec states that its software can be used for “fast identification of suspects and efficient crime investigations.” [Emphasis added] Cognitec, “Applications: Law enforcement.” https://www.cognitec.com/law-enforcement.html (accessed April 20, 2020) and, as of August 2019, Dataworks Plus promised law enforcement “reliable candidates through facial recognition technology” and that its software “uses facial recognition technology to positively match photosof an individual by identifying key characteristics of the facial image” with capabilities such as “discovering a person’s identity during investigations.” [Emphasis added] Dataworks Plus, “Facial Recognition Technology & Case Management.”

Jake Laperruque, “About-Face: Examining Amazon’s Shifting Story on Facial Recognition Accuracy,” Project On Government Oversight, April 10, 2019. https://www.pogo.org/analysis/2019/04/about-face-examining-amazon-shifting-story-on-facial-recognitionaccuracy/

21 + Jim Trainum, “Facial Recognition Surveillance Doesn’t Necessarily Make You Safer,” Project On Government Oversight, July 22, 2019. https://www.pogo.org/analysis/2019/07/facial-recognition-surveillance-doesnt-necessarily-make-you-safer/ According to then-FBI Deputy Assistant Director Kimberly Del Greco, its system is set so that it “returns a gallery of ‘candidate’ photos [reference photos] of 2-50 individuals (the default is 20).” House Committee on Oversight and Reform. Facial Recognition Technology (Part II): Ensuring Transparency in Government Use: Hearing before the House Committee on Oversight, 116th Cong. (June 4, 2019). https://www.fbi.gov/news/testimony/facial-recognition-technology-ensuring-transparency-in-government-use. 22 + Drew Harwell, “Oregon became a testing ground for Amazon’s facial recognition policing. But what if Rekognition gets it wrong?” Washington Post, April 30, 2019. https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/04/30/amazons-facial-recognition-technology-is-supercharging-local-police/ 23 + Jake Laperruque, “About-Face: Examining Amazon’s Shifting Story on Facial Recognition Accuracy,” Project On Government Oversight, April 10, 2019. https://www.pogo.org/analysis/2019/04/about-face-examining-amazon-shifting-story-on-facial-recognition-accuracy/ 24 +

Clare Garvie, “Garbage In, Garbage Out: Face Recognition on Flawed Data,” Georgetown Law Center on Privacy & Technology, May 16, 2019. https://www.flawedfacedata.com/

In an op-ed advocating for its facial recognition system, then-New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill stated, “The system can also create a mirror image of the right side of a face if we have only the left side, for example, to produce a 3-D model.” This is not a reliable use, given that facial recognition systems examine the full contours of individuals’ faces, and that most individuals’ faces are actually not symmetrical. James O’Neill, “How Facial Recognition Makes You Safer,” New York Times, June 9, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/09/opinion/facial-recognition-police-new-york-city.html

For example, during a recent Congressional hearing FBI Director Christopher Wray responded to inquiries on face recognition by stating “We use it for lead value. We don’t use facial recognition as a basis to arrest or convict.” House Judiciary Committee. Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation: Hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, 116th Cong. (February 5, 2020). https://judiciary.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=2780

Garvie, “Garbage In, Garbage Out: Face Recognition on Flawed Data,” [see note 24].

Jennifer Valentino-DeVries, “How the Police Use Facial Recognition, and Where It Falls Short,”New York Times, January 12, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/12/technology/facial-recognition-police.html (“Although officials said investigators could not rely on facial recognition results to make an arrest, documents suggested that on occasion officers gathered no other evidence.”)

Big Brother Watch, Face Off: The Lawless Growth of Facial Recognition in UK Policing (May 2018), 3-4. https://bigbrotherwatch.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Face-Off-final-digital-1.pdf

Carpenter v. United States, 138 S. Ct. 2206 (2018). (“A person does not surrender all Fourth Amendment protection by venturing into the public sphere. To the contrary what [one] seeks to preserve as private, even in an area accessible to the public, may be constitutionally protected.” [Internal quotes omitted])

Diala Shamas and Nermeen Arastu, Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility Project, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, and Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition, Mapping Muslims: NYPD Spying and its Impact on American Muslims (June 28, 2012). https://www.law.cuny.edu/wp-content/uploads/page-assets/academics/clinics/immigration/clear/Mapping-Muslims.pdf Final Report of the Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, S. Rep. No. 94-755 (1976). https://www.intelligence.senate.gov/resources/intelligence-related-commissions

Kevin Rector and Alison Knezevich, “Social media companies rescind access to Geofeedia, which fed information to police during 2015 unrest,” Baltimore Sun, October 11, 2016. https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/crime/bs-md-geofeedia-update-20161011-story.html

Research found that the NYPD Muslim Surveillance Program resulted in “a striking self-censorship of political speech and activism. Conversations relating to foreign policy, civil rights and activism are all deemed off-limits” and expression of religious identity was also severely chilled as “parents discourage their children from being active in Muslim student groups, protests, or other activism, believing that these activities would threaten to expose them to government scrutiny.” Mapping Muslims: NYPD Spying and its Impact on American Muslims, 4.

34 + This risk is acute because bench warrants can be for minor offenses, and apply to huge portions of a community. For example, a 2015 Department of Justice investigation revealed that Ferguson, Missouri, had active, outstanding municipal arrest warrants—mostly for minor offenses such as unpaid fines for traffic violations—for 16,000 people in a municipality with a population of 21,000. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, Investigation of the Ferguson Police Department, (March 4, 2015) 3-6, 55. https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/opa/press-releases/attachments/2015/03/04/ferguson_police_department_report.pdf 35 +

Paul Mozur, “Inside China’s Dystopian Dreams: A.I., Shame and Lots of Cameras,” New York Times, July 8, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/08/business/china-surveillance-technology.html

36 + Task Force on Facial Recognition Surveillance, Facing the Future of Surveillance, Sec. IV III [see note 1]. 37 +

Valentino-DeVries, “How the Police Use Facial Recognition, and Where It Falls Short” [see note 28].

38 + Valentino-DeVries, “How the Police Use Facial Recognition, and Where It Falls Short” [see note 28].


The Administrative State and the Optimal Abuse of Power

A state built to prevent all abuses of power would perform poorly.

Fear of the abuse of official power is and always has been a central thread in American constitutional discourse and political psychology. From the Antifederalists, to the Liberty League of the 1930s, to the American Civil Liberties Union, to the Tea Party Constitutionalism championed by Richard Epstein and Randy Barnett, libertarian constitutional movements and their theorists have urged that constitutional arrangements should build in strict precautions against the risk of abuse of power. That impulse cuts across the left-right divide and has no systematic or general political valence the politics of precautionary constitutionalism varies over time and across issues. Today, libertarians of the left tend to urge precautions against executive powers of surveillance and detention, whereas libertarians of the right urge precautions against administrative regulation and putative takings of property rights but the rhetoric and structure of argumentation is interestingly similar across these cases.

Yet the circumstances of the administrative state make a strictly precautionary approach to official abuse of power impossible. Indeed, the architects of the administrative state, I believe, understood exactly this. They recognized that abuse of power is not something to be minimized, but rather optimized. An administrative state will tolerate a certain level of abuse of power, as part of a package solution – as the inevitable byproduct of attaining other ends that are desirable overall. In that very rough sense, they attempted to push towards optimal abuse of power.

Why not strictly minimize abuse of power? There are three major reasons. First, and most simply, it’s too costly. Strict minimization is excessively costly both because it is costly to set up the enforcement machinery to prevent abuse and because the enforcement machinery will itself be staffed by officials who may abuse their power in turn – the problem of guarding the guardians. In principle, as the great economist Leo Hurwicz noted, the guardians may be arranged in a circle of mutual checking, but it has proven difficult to maintain the stability of such circular systems over time an example is the instability of the Madisonian system of checks and balances.

The second reason is that abuses of power can occur on both sides of the divide between “public” and “private” actions. The architects of the modern administrative state were not only worried about abuse of power by governmental officials. They were equally worried about “private” abuses – really a special type of official abuse, effected through the self-interested behavior of economic actors wielding delegated state power under the rules of the common law of property, tort, and contract, and under corporate law. The administrative state thus trades off governmental and “private” abuse it accepts increased risks of official abuse and distorted decision making in order to give governmental officials more power to suppress “private” abuses, in order to increase the activity level of the government as a whole, and in order to give administrators sufficient information to combat the evils that arise in complex sectors of the economy.

A crucial locus for the resulting tensions and tradeoffs has been the separation of prosecutorial from adjudicative functions in the administrative state. Classically, of course, to allow the executive to both prosecute and decide cases is a core violation of the principle of impartiality nemo iudex in sua causa, “no man shall be judge in his own cause,” and also a core violation of the separation of powers. But the administrative state has been willing to compromise even those principles, to some degree and in certain ways, in order to ensure an adequate level of information and an adequate activity level on the part of official bodies charged with countervailing private power. The point is not to deny the classical values of impartiality and separation rather, the point is to desacralize those values. They are to be treated not as sacred side-constraints, but as institutional goods that have to be traded off against other institutional goods.

Consider the complex patchwork of rules that has resulted. Prosecutorial and adjudicative functions are separated at the lowest level of agencies, but only for formal adjudication on the record, not for either informal adjudication or the agency’s legislative rulemaking functions. And in any event, when the adjudication is appealed to the top level of the agency – the level of the commissioners themselves – there is no separation of functions at all, although there is some loose constitutional review of whether the commissioners have prejudged the facts. This patchwork is clearly an equilibrium compromise – the Supreme Court has described it as such – that trades off competing considerations, involving the risks of biased decision making on the one hand and, on the other, the risks of insufficient activity levels and insufficient expertise. It seems unlikely that the compromise can be proved to be optimal in any strong sense, but historically it was designed to protect multiple values, each to some degree but none fully, and in that weaker sense, has an optimizing character.

Finally, the optimal package of institutional arrangements today, in 2014, or even in say 1937, will tolerate a higher rate of abuse of power than in 1789. The problem is what Bill Scheuerman calls the “social acceleration of time.” The rate of change in the policy environment, especially in the economy, is so much greater than in the late 18th century that optimal institutional arrangements must allow for greater speed and flexibility of policy adjustment by officials. That, of course, is one of the main reasons we have such a large bureaucracy in the first place. Cumbersome Madisonian legislatures or constitutional parliaments, checked or choked by vetogates, are structurally incapable of supplying policy change at the necessary rates, a point made by students of constitutional law as radically dissimilar as Chief Justice Harlan Fiske Stone and Carl Schmitt. Hence, delegation to agencies and to the President has frequently been justified as a speeding-up mechanism.

The price of speed and flexibility of adjustment is administrative discretion, and administrative discretion creates increased scope for the abuse of discretion – despite the attempt to check such abuses with review under the Administrative Procedure Act for abuse of discretion, itself a costly and imperfect oversight mechanism. Broader and looser delegation, with fewer veto-gates or checks and balances, allows the executive to put new beneficial policies in place more easily, while also allowing more expropriation – more executive abuse of delegated power. As the rate of change in the policy environment increases, the benefits of loosening the constraints on new executive action increase, despite the greater risk of abuse.

The administrative state faces inevitable tradeoffs among the classical institutional goal of reducing official abuse of power, the positive costs of enforcing the constitutional rules, the regulatory goal of reducing “private” abuse of power, and a myriad of other, substantive policy and welfare goals. The administrative state’s response – by fits and starts, and with all sorts of cross-cutting political agendas and compromises – has been to grope toward a set of arrangements that tolerate a certain risk of official abuse as the unavoidable byproduct of a package solution that is desirable overall. One doesn’t know, and no one can prove or disprove, that the rules of the administrative state are optimal, certainly not in the strong sense that they reach a global welfare maximum. But there is no doubt that the architects of the administrative state were, in some cases anyway, searching for net institutional improvements in the face of the relevant tradeoffs. In that modest sense, they were intentionally optimizing.

Adrian Vermeule is the John H. Watson Professor of Law at the Harvard Law School. This post is adapted from his new paper, “Optimal Abuse of Power,” forthcoming in the Northwestern University Law Review. The paper in turn grows out of, and extends, his recent book, The Constitution of Risk (Cambridge University Press 2014).


Ethics in Leadership: The 8 Rules to Prevent Misuse of Corporate Power

There is an oft-quoted statement from the 19 th century moralist and historian Lord Acton that says, “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” He was writing to a Bishop Mandell Creighton in the year 1887. The quotation goes on to say, “Great men are almost always bad men."

Unlimited power dramatically increases the risk of an ethical breach

More than 100 years earlier, William Pitt, the Prime Minister of Britain from 1766 to 1778, said something similar in a speech to the UK House of Lords in 1770 more than 100 years earlier:

"Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it."

For the past decades we have been collecting 360 degree feedback data about leaders. These surveys are anonymous and heavily safeguarded to encourage individuals to give open and honest reports on feedback. As I noted in my last column Are You As Honest As You Think You Are?, one of the curious things we have observed is that while peers, direct reports (subordinates) and bosses are seemingly perceptive and honest about their colleagues’ strengths and weaknesses, when it comes to evaluating honesty and integrity, there is little dispersion in the scores. 80% of the time people rate themselves between a 4 and a 5 on a 5 point scale. 17.5% of the time we see a 3 (which is defined as good performance, competent, what you’d expect from someone in that position.) Only 2.5% of the time do you see leaders marked with a 2 (inconsistent behavior, needs some improvement) and we can’t recall seeing a leader given a 1, signifying poor performance.

  1. Is this simply an area about which colleagues aren’t comfortable giving their opinion?
  2. Do they not see any ethical lapses on the part of their boss or colleague?
  3. Ethical lapses seem largely confined to a few people at the apex of the organization.

We fear the most correct answer is the latter. Lord Acton and Prime Minister Pitt were correct. There is something about power that gets people into trouble.

There is too much evidence in the news regarding top executives' ethical breaches to not question the validity of these inflated scores. We believe there are several potential explanations for this. No doubt poor ratings of a direct report’s honesty and integrity are a negative reflection on the boss. Perhaps ethical lapses tend to occur most often in senior executives because of new and different combinations of forces that are impinging on them. The tendencies to give in to unethical behavior may be latent in many leaders, but there are few opportunities to express this behavior while serving at middle levels in the organization.

Whatever the cause, it is clear that the egregious acts of dishonesty that destroy careers (and in many cases have destroyed entire organizations in their aftermath) have been generally executed by people who hold the most senior roles in their firm.

While we have no definitive means of solving this riddle, we do believe unethical behavior by the most senior people is caused by the combination of several forces. By understanding these elements, organizations can take steps to prevent them. Here are the key elements of the situations we see. Senior leaders have:

  1. Enormous power over subordinates’ destinies that makes underlings reluctant to criticize or blow the whistle.
  2. Access to large sums of money that have low visibility and minimal accountability.
  3. Control over extensive corporate perquisites that can be used for one’s personal benefit.
  4. Absence of operational checks and balances that are present at lower levels.
  5. Minimal oversight from the Board of Directors.
  6. Huge incentives to reach certain milestones.
  7. Relentless pressures from Wall Street to produce continual improvement in quarter- to-quarter results.
  8. Belief by individuals that they are responsible for the financial success of the firm and therefore deserving of large financial rewards.

What can organizations do to quell this? We suggest organizations do more to warn newly appointed senior executives about the dangerous territory they have entered. We also encourage organizations to put stronger safeguards in place to prevent misdeeds from occurring. Many of the issues we have listed can be directly addressed. For example, the company can implement stronger checks and balances. Oversight from the Board of Directors can (and should) be increased as a company grows. A company can also instill mechanisms to protect the anonymity of underlings who report any ethical breaches they see.

Organizations should send a balanced message through their ranks about the business results they are driving for and the acceptable methods by which these results are obtained.

Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, we advise leaders to strengthen the behaviors that correspond with ethical conduct. Organizations can help, but it is ultimately it is a leader’s responsibility to develop a more honest and integrity filled way of doing business. In our upcoming book How to Be Exceptional (currently available for pre-sale at Amazon) we address the statistically correlated companion competencies that strengthen leaders’ ability to behave with integrity. (For a full white paper we’ve authored on the topic, you can go here.) These characteristics include:

  • Approachable
  • Trustworthy
  • Acts with humility
  • Listens with great intensity
  • Makes decisions carefully
  • Acts assertively

It is our assertion that if every business were to take these steps—and if we were to demand these steps of every governing body—most, if not all, of the ethical breaches that are currently infesting our country’s organizations could be quelled.


Checks and Balances AND the Safeguards

America drafted the constitution, they ensured that there was a division of power within the government to prevent power being controlled by one individual, or special interest groups. The system of “Checks and Balances,” can be attributed back to the ancient Roman Empire. Many progressive nations adopted this system to keep power in check, and preserve and protect the rights of citizens. This mechanism of governance is designed to limit the power of a single individual or group, ensuring equal treatment under the law. This system ensures that no one is above the law leading to a harmonious interrelationship between the governors and the governed, and also ensures all institutions abide by the law, and are equally protected.

In designing a system of checks and balances, the founders ensured that there is a balance of power between the three branches of government, the Executive, the Legislative, and the Judiciary. The idea of having three branches of government is attributed to the writings of Baron Charles Montesquieu, a French professor and philosopher. His book, The Spirit of Laws, is cited as one that “was read and studied intently in America.” It is also indicated that in it, Montesquieu acknowledged the deceit and wickedness of the human heart, a testament to the behavioral traits of all dictators. The three branches of government carry out their separate functions independently with their powers limited to their respective branches. The checks and balances allow social institutions, religious organizations, corporations, and non-governmental organizations to operate and exist as independent entities. The system of checks and balances does not just regulate government and organizations, but regulates selfish behavior that is geared towards enhancing individual wealth, and prevents abuse of power. In many narratives, theorists and law makers presented how checks and balances regulate excesses and limit power. In his book AMERICA the BEAUTIFUL, Dr. Ben Carson shows the mechanisms of checks that are implemented to regulate the power of each of the branches of government. Here are a few examples

CHECKS ON EXECUTIVE POWERS (PRESIDENT) Congress can override vetoes by the executive Senate can refuse to confirm appointments or ratify treaties Congress can impeach or remove the president Congress can declare war and the Supreme Court can declare execute acts unconstitutional.

CHECKS ON LEGISLATIVE POWERS (CONGRESS) President veto federal bills Supreme Court can rule laws unconstitutional Both houses of Congress must vote to pass laws, checking power within the legislature.

CHECKS ON JUDICIAL POWERS (SUPREME COURT AND JUDGES) Congress can propose constitutional amendments to overturn judicial decisions. (These require 2/3 majority in both houses, and ratification by3/4 of the states Congress can impeach and remove federal judges The president appoints judges, but are confirmed by the Senate. Some of us living in America and other functioning democracies can attest to the application of the checks and balances on social and legal issues. Even though the outcome of the decisions is unfavorable to a group, it affirms that the mechanism works or is in action.

As outlined by Dr. Ben Carson, experience also teaches us that the branch that is likely to be too powerful and act “King-like,” is the executive, which is checked by the other two branches. The power of the other two branches, the judiciary and legislature, will not be minimized, nullified, and cannot be marginalized by the executive. In an effective checks and balances system, the representatives remain connected to their communities and serve their needs, and subjected to being replaced if they do not meet the expectations of the people. Checks and balances support a representative government since all positions are temporary, based on term limits. The embrace of this temporary concept makes the representatives mindful and dutiful.

The Importance of the checks and balances cannot be underestimated. One of its primary function is to check the absolute power of one individual. It also advocates for vigilance to ensure power is watched and monitored to prevent abuse of power, and ensure the protection of rights. Where it is in existence, authoritarianism and tyranny will not occur. In a system of checks and balances, selfishness that leads to amassing of wealth and abuse of power by one individual is prevented. It is a system that favors all social institutions. History and our own experience of dealing with a dictator tells us how one person will use power to gain excesses, and infringe upon the rights of citizens. The common saying that “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” is confirmed to be true with Yaya Jammeh’s dealings with Gambians and the country’s meager resources. In societies where citizens remain uninterested and non-involved, governments and special interest groups have taken advantage of the situation, keeping people in bondage and robbing them of their resources.

It is evident that when CHECKS are OUT OF BALANCE, tyranny ensues. Greed leading to craving for excesses at the expense of others, causes individuals to seek power, and use it as a weapon of repression against citizens. Yaya Jammeh is known for blatantly violating rights and defying the demands of the international governing bodies. The international community has a humanitarian responsibility of providing checks by changing their stance from condemnation to action to prevent human rights abuses. The House of representative in the Gambia does not help in providing checks either. The members gradually detach from the communities and the ideals that they swore to pursue and defend. When they get a taste of power and special privileges, their duties and moral obligation to the people become a lesser priority. They give in to intimidation or assimilate into the oppressive culture. Their obligation of conveying and defending the interests of the people becomes a failure. Religious groups and other institutions have been known to provide checks where society seem to go astray. The involvement of religious leaders and viable institutions, and their ability to intervene as needed in places like Senegal and elsewhere is a confirmation to the previous statement. This was also prevalent during the first republic, which can all be credited to tolerant leadership and a vibrant society.

In progressive and democratic societies, the checks on the abuse of power is also credited to the laws that are enacted to balance power. The preservation of a democratic society cannot be possible without the active participation of the citizens. If they value their rights, they will refuse to idly sit by and allow it to taken away. This is the identity of a functioning democracy, a system in which power truly rest in the hands of the people. It takes a conscious decision and effort for the people to make this principle a reality. Democracy and the enjoyment of rights require the full participation of all citizens, who accept the challenge that the privileges that citizens enjoy entail responsibilities. This is what got America and other progressive nations where they are today, the refusal of the citizens to be herded as sheep. The work of Anderson Gordon, L. (Philosophy of the United States: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness) extensively outlines the importance of checks and balances in ensuring liberties. Creating an educated citizenry would be key to this, a citizenry that are well informed of their rights. An educated citizenry is enlightened about who leads them, and ensure that their leaders are safeguards of the checks and balances. CHECKS AND BALANCES prevents abuse of power, calls for a representative government, and therefore prevents tyranny. A mechanism that is so beneficial and advocates for equality is worth fighting and dying for. We will achieve our objective if we embrace the challenges as a collective responsibility. Optimism and the goodwill always triumph over pessimism. A society that emerged from a horrible past always set the defense mechanisms to avoid repeat. We all have a responsibility to liberate our country and save it for the future generation. The future generation will provide the required checks and balances to avoid tyranny, and ensure there is rule of law.


Abuse of Power at Workplace – Meaning, Examples and Impacts

The misuse of the authority vested in a person or an official for personal advantage or misusing it towards juniors or subordinates or a combination of both which results in adverse effects and breeds negativity is called abuse of power.

Before understanding the abuse of power, let us first understand what exactly is power in the workplace. Power is bestowed in employees of the organization and power as it percolates down the hierarchy, reduces.

This is the reason why the delegation of authority can stop the abuse of power in some cases. Power is a byproduct of power.

Once a person gets the authority, he automatically gets the power and can use that power in any way. The dictionary meaning of abuse is to use something in wrong or harmful way or treating someone in such a way which is not acceptable by the law. For example, some women abuse their rights in the commission of the unlawful act.

Similarly, abuse of power takes place when a person in authority makes the wrong use of the power bestowed on it to commit an unlawful act for personal gains or other reasons. Abuse of power at the workplace is also referred to as “malfeasance.” All the abuse like sexual abuse, negligence, physical abuse, etc. are considered the abuse of power.


What effect did John Hay's open door policy letters have on the imperial powers of Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and Japan? A)It provoked the imperial powers to declare war on the United States B)It caused the imperial powers to restrict trade in their

what effect did john hay's open door policy letters have on the imperial powers of britain france germany russia and japan? A:it provoked the imperial powers to declare war on the United States B:it caused the imperial powers to restrict trade in their


Tyranny And The Will Of The Majority

Anti-Federalists were concerned a centralized government would embolden the majority — that the majority would realize they could bend the entire republic to its will. As a result the will of the majority could eventually become a tyranny. But in Federalist 9, Hamilton explained that this was already happening in some states precisely because there wasn’t a strong national government to oversee each of the states. Previous republics in ancient times devolved quickly into tyranny and anarchy because there were numerous distractions, but that majority tyranny could be avoided due to the improvements in political science since ancient times.

Hamilton wrote that separation of powers, checks, and balances, and a strong, independent judiciary — which were included in the Constitution — would prevent a republic from devolving into tyranny. Through these measures, the Constitution accounted for human nature and for man’s thirst for ever-increasing power.

In Federalist 10, Madison says faction and partisanship are unavoidable aspects of liberty because men who are free will have different opinions and will disagree with one another. Eliminating faction altogether would be to eliminate liberty — a cure worse than the disease. He says the larger a republic, the broader scope of interests and factions can exist, which reduces the likelihood of any particular faction from getting to big and gaining too much power.

The Constitution requires virtuous men to be the ones serving as representatives — the best and the brightest who have the best interests of the country at heart must be the ones holding power. And that a larger republic expands the pool of talent and diversifies the interests — economic and otherwise — within the country. The wider range of interests reduces the likelihood of a faction to wield all the power.

The smaller the society, the fewer probably will be the distinct parties and interests composing it the fewer the distinct parties and interests, the more frequently will a majority be found of the same party and the smaller the number of individuals composing a majority, and the smaller the compass within which they are placed, the more easily will they concert and execute their plans of oppression. Extend the sphere and you take in a greater variety of parties and interests you make it less probable that a majority of the whole will have a common motive to invade the rights of other citizens. . .

Making laws should not serve a faction, but the common good of the whole republic. Emboldening citizens to chose their own leaders — leaders who have the best interest of the Republic at heart — is what will keep the United States from devolving into the ill-fated democracies of ancient days.


9. What is abuse?

Abuse and neglect take many forms [footnote 2] . Abuse can lead to a violation of someone’s human and civil rights by another person or persons. Abuse can be physical, financial, verbal or psychological. It can be the result of an act or a failure to act.

It can happen when an adult at risk is persuaded into a financial or sexual exchange they have not consented to, or can’t consent to. Abuse can occur in any relationship and may result in significant harm or exploitation.

Some types of abuse are illegal, and in these cases adults who lack capacity are protected by law the same as everyone else. If OPG suspects that a crime against a client has been committed, we refer the matter to the police. Sometimes, an urgent referral is made for the safety of the adult at risk and/or to preserve evidence.

Abuse is a misuse of power and control that one person has over another. Where someone is dependent on another, there is the possibility of abuse or neglect unless enough safeguards are put in place.

Abuse can fall into the following categories [footnote 3] :

Physical

This includes assault, hitting, slapping, pushing, giving the wrong (or no) medication, restraining someone or only letting them do certain things at certain times.

Domestic

This includes psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional abuse. It also covers so-called ‘honour’ based violence.

Sexual

This includes rape, indecent exposure, sexual harassment, inappropriate looking or touching, sexual teasing or innuendo, taking sexual photographs, making someone look at pornography or watch sexual acts, sexual assault or sexual acts the adult didn’t consent to or was pressured into consenting.

Psychological

This includes emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, depriving someone of contact with someone else, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, putting pressure on someone to do something, harassment, verbal abuse, cyber bullying, isolation or unreasonable and unjustified withdrawal of services or support networks.

Financial or material

This includes theft, fraud, internet scamming, putting pressure on someone about their financial arrangements (including wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions) or the misuse or stealing of property, possessions or benefits.

Modern slavery

This covers slavery (including domestic slavery), human trafficking and forced labour. Traffickers and slave masters use whatever they can to pressurise, deceive and force individuals into a life of abuse and inhumane treatment.

Discriminatory

This includes types of harassment or insults because of someone’s race, gender or gender identity, age, disability, sexual orientation or religion.

Organisational

This includes neglect and poor care in an institution or care setting such as a hospital or care home, or if an organisation provides care in someone’s home. The abuse can be a one-off incident or repeated, on-going ill treatment. The abuse can be through neglect or poor professional practice, which might be because of structure, policies, processes and practices within an organisation.

Neglect and acts of omission

This includes ignoring medical, emotional or physical care needs, failure to provide access to educational services, or not giving someone what they need to help them live, such as medication, enough nutrition and heating.

Self-neglect

This covers a wide range of behaviour which shows that someone isn’t caring for their own personal hygiene, health or surroundings. It includes behaviour such as hoarding.

Abuse can take many forms. It might not comfortably into any of these categories, or it might not fit into more than one. Abuse can be carried out by one adult at risk towards another. This is still abuse and should be dealt with. The adult at risk who abuses may also be neglecting him/herself which could also be reason for a safeguarding referral.


The Administrative State and the Optimal Abuse of Power

A state built to prevent all abuses of power would perform poorly.

Fear of the abuse of official power is and always has been a central thread in American constitutional discourse and political psychology. From the Antifederalists, to the Liberty League of the 1930s, to the American Civil Liberties Union, to the Tea Party Constitutionalism championed by Richard Epstein and Randy Barnett, libertarian constitutional movements and their theorists have urged that constitutional arrangements should build in strict precautions against the risk of abuse of power. That impulse cuts across the left-right divide and has no systematic or general political valence the politics of precautionary constitutionalism varies over time and across issues. Today, libertarians of the left tend to urge precautions against executive powers of surveillance and detention, whereas libertarians of the right urge precautions against administrative regulation and putative takings of property rights but the rhetoric and structure of argumentation is interestingly similar across these cases.

Yet the circumstances of the administrative state make a strictly precautionary approach to official abuse of power impossible. Indeed, the architects of the administrative state, I believe, understood exactly this. They recognized that abuse of power is not something to be minimized, but rather optimized. An administrative state will tolerate a certain level of abuse of power, as part of a package solution – as the inevitable byproduct of attaining other ends that are desirable overall. In that very rough sense, they attempted to push towards optimal abuse of power.

Why not strictly minimize abuse of power? There are three major reasons. First, and most simply, it’s too costly. Strict minimization is excessively costly both because it is costly to set up the enforcement machinery to prevent abuse and because the enforcement machinery will itself be staffed by officials who may abuse their power in turn – the problem of guarding the guardians. In principle, as the great economist Leo Hurwicz noted, the guardians may be arranged in a circle of mutual checking, but it has proven difficult to maintain the stability of such circular systems over time an example is the instability of the Madisonian system of checks and balances.

The second reason is that abuses of power can occur on both sides of the divide between “public” and “private” actions. The architects of the modern administrative state were not only worried about abuse of power by governmental officials. They were equally worried about “private” abuses – really a special type of official abuse, effected through the self-interested behavior of economic actors wielding delegated state power under the rules of the common law of property, tort, and contract, and under corporate law. The administrative state thus trades off governmental and “private” abuse it accepts increased risks of official abuse and distorted decision making in order to give governmental officials more power to suppress “private” abuses, in order to increase the activity level of the government as a whole, and in order to give administrators sufficient information to combat the evils that arise in complex sectors of the economy.

A crucial locus for the resulting tensions and tradeoffs has been the separation of prosecutorial from adjudicative functions in the administrative state. Classically, of course, to allow the executive to both prosecute and decide cases is a core violation of the principle of impartiality nemo iudex in sua causa, “no man shall be judge in his own cause,” and also a core violation of the separation of powers. But the administrative state has been willing to compromise even those principles, to some degree and in certain ways, in order to ensure an adequate level of information and an adequate activity level on the part of official bodies charged with countervailing private power. The point is not to deny the classical values of impartiality and separation rather, the point is to desacralize those values. They are to be treated not as sacred side-constraints, but as institutional goods that have to be traded off against other institutional goods.

Consider the complex patchwork of rules that has resulted. Prosecutorial and adjudicative functions are separated at the lowest level of agencies, but only for formal adjudication on the record, not for either informal adjudication or the agency’s legislative rulemaking functions. And in any event, when the adjudication is appealed to the top level of the agency – the level of the commissioners themselves – there is no separation of functions at all, although there is some loose constitutional review of whether the commissioners have prejudged the facts. This patchwork is clearly an equilibrium compromise – the Supreme Court has described it as such – that trades off competing considerations, involving the risks of biased decision making on the one hand and, on the other, the risks of insufficient activity levels and insufficient expertise. It seems unlikely that the compromise can be proved to be optimal in any strong sense, but historically it was designed to protect multiple values, each to some degree but none fully, and in that weaker sense, has an optimizing character.

Finally, the optimal package of institutional arrangements today, in 2014, or even in say 1937, will tolerate a higher rate of abuse of power than in 1789. The problem is what Bill Scheuerman calls the “social acceleration of time.” The rate of change in the policy environment, especially in the economy, is so much greater than in the late 18th century that optimal institutional arrangements must allow for greater speed and flexibility of policy adjustment by officials. That, of course, is one of the main reasons we have such a large bureaucracy in the first place. Cumbersome Madisonian legislatures or constitutional parliaments, checked or choked by vetogates, are structurally incapable of supplying policy change at the necessary rates, a point made by students of constitutional law as radically dissimilar as Chief Justice Harlan Fiske Stone and Carl Schmitt. Hence, delegation to agencies and to the President has frequently been justified as a speeding-up mechanism.

The price of speed and flexibility of adjustment is administrative discretion, and administrative discretion creates increased scope for the abuse of discretion – despite the attempt to check such abuses with review under the Administrative Procedure Act for abuse of discretion, itself a costly and imperfect oversight mechanism. Broader and looser delegation, with fewer veto-gates or checks and balances, allows the executive to put new beneficial policies in place more easily, while also allowing more expropriation – more executive abuse of delegated power. As the rate of change in the policy environment increases, the benefits of loosening the constraints on new executive action increase, despite the greater risk of abuse.

The administrative state faces inevitable tradeoffs among the classical institutional goal of reducing official abuse of power, the positive costs of enforcing the constitutional rules, the regulatory goal of reducing “private” abuse of power, and a myriad of other, substantive policy and welfare goals. The administrative state’s response – by fits and starts, and with all sorts of cross-cutting political agendas and compromises – has been to grope toward a set of arrangements that tolerate a certain risk of official abuse as the unavoidable byproduct of a package solution that is desirable overall. One doesn’t know, and no one can prove or disprove, that the rules of the administrative state are optimal, certainly not in the strong sense that they reach a global welfare maximum. But there is no doubt that the architects of the administrative state were, in some cases anyway, searching for net institutional improvements in the face of the relevant tradeoffs. In that modest sense, they were intentionally optimizing.

Adrian Vermeule is the John H. Watson Professor of Law at the Harvard Law School. This post is adapted from his new paper, “Optimal Abuse of Power,” forthcoming in the Northwestern University Law Review. The paper in turn grows out of, and extends, his recent book, The Constitution of Risk (Cambridge University Press 2014).


Ethics in Leadership: The 8 Rules to Prevent Misuse of Corporate Power

There is an oft-quoted statement from the 19 th century moralist and historian Lord Acton that says, “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” He was writing to a Bishop Mandell Creighton in the year 1887. The quotation goes on to say, “Great men are almost always bad men."

Unlimited power dramatically increases the risk of an ethical breach

More than 100 years earlier, William Pitt, the Prime Minister of Britain from 1766 to 1778, said something similar in a speech to the UK House of Lords in 1770 more than 100 years earlier:

"Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it."

For the past decades we have been collecting 360 degree feedback data about leaders. These surveys are anonymous and heavily safeguarded to encourage individuals to give open and honest reports on feedback. As I noted in my last column Are You As Honest As You Think You Are?, one of the curious things we have observed is that while peers, direct reports (subordinates) and bosses are seemingly perceptive and honest about their colleagues’ strengths and weaknesses, when it comes to evaluating honesty and integrity, there is little dispersion in the scores. 80% of the time people rate themselves between a 4 and a 5 on a 5 point scale. 17.5% of the time we see a 3 (which is defined as good performance, competent, what you’d expect from someone in that position.) Only 2.5% of the time do you see leaders marked with a 2 (inconsistent behavior, needs some improvement) and we can’t recall seeing a leader given a 1, signifying poor performance.

  1. Is this simply an area about which colleagues aren’t comfortable giving their opinion?
  2. Do they not see any ethical lapses on the part of their boss or colleague?
  3. Ethical lapses seem largely confined to a few people at the apex of the organization.

We fear the most correct answer is the latter. Lord Acton and Prime Minister Pitt were correct. There is something about power that gets people into trouble.

There is too much evidence in the news regarding top executives' ethical breaches to not question the validity of these inflated scores. We believe there are several potential explanations for this. No doubt poor ratings of a direct report’s honesty and integrity are a negative reflection on the boss. Perhaps ethical lapses tend to occur most often in senior executives because of new and different combinations of forces that are impinging on them. The tendencies to give in to unethical behavior may be latent in many leaders, but there are few opportunities to express this behavior while serving at middle levels in the organization.

Whatever the cause, it is clear that the egregious acts of dishonesty that destroy careers (and in many cases have destroyed entire organizations in their aftermath) have been generally executed by people who hold the most senior roles in their firm.

While we have no definitive means of solving this riddle, we do believe unethical behavior by the most senior people is caused by the combination of several forces. By understanding these elements, organizations can take steps to prevent them. Here are the key elements of the situations we see. Senior leaders have:

  1. Enormous power over subordinates’ destinies that makes underlings reluctant to criticize or blow the whistle.
  2. Access to large sums of money that have low visibility and minimal accountability.
  3. Control over extensive corporate perquisites that can be used for one’s personal benefit.
  4. Absence of operational checks and balances that are present at lower levels.
  5. Minimal oversight from the Board of Directors.
  6. Huge incentives to reach certain milestones.
  7. Relentless pressures from Wall Street to produce continual improvement in quarter- to-quarter results.
  8. Belief by individuals that they are responsible for the financial success of the firm and therefore deserving of large financial rewards.

What can organizations do to quell this? We suggest organizations do more to warn newly appointed senior executives about the dangerous territory they have entered. We also encourage organizations to put stronger safeguards in place to prevent misdeeds from occurring. Many of the issues we have listed can be directly addressed. For example, the company can implement stronger checks and balances. Oversight from the Board of Directors can (and should) be increased as a company grows. A company can also instill mechanisms to protect the anonymity of underlings who report any ethical breaches they see.

Organizations should send a balanced message through their ranks about the business results they are driving for and the acceptable methods by which these results are obtained.

Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, we advise leaders to strengthen the behaviors that correspond with ethical conduct. Organizations can help, but it is ultimately it is a leader’s responsibility to develop a more honest and integrity filled way of doing business. In our upcoming book How to Be Exceptional (currently available for pre-sale at Amazon) we address the statistically correlated companion competencies that strengthen leaders’ ability to behave with integrity. (For a full white paper we’ve authored on the topic, you can go here.) These characteristics include:

  • Approachable
  • Trustworthy
  • Acts with humility
  • Listens with great intensity
  • Makes decisions carefully
  • Acts assertively

It is our assertion that if every business were to take these steps—and if we were to demand these steps of every governing body—most, if not all, of the ethical breaches that are currently infesting our country’s organizations could be quelled.


Workplace Articles & More

For the past twenty years, I have been carrying out experiments to find out how power is distributed in groups. I have infiltrated college dorms and children’s summer camps to document who rises in power. I have brought entire sororities and fraternities into the lab, capturing the substance and spread of individuals’ reputations within their social networks. I have surreptitiously identified which members of groups are gossiped about, and who receive gossip. To chart the experience of power, I have studied what it feels like to be placed in positions of authority.

Adapted from Dacher Keltner's new book, The Power Paradox: How We Gain and Lose Influence (Penguin Press, May 17, 2016)

Findings from this research converge on an organizing idea: Whereas the Machiavellian approach to power assumes that individuals grab it through coercive force, strategic deception, and the undermining of others, the science finds that power is not grabbed but is given to individuals by groups.

What this means is that your ability to make a difference in the world—your power, as I define it—is shaped by what other people think of you. Your capacity to alter the state of others depends on their trust in you. Your ability to empower others depends on their willingness to be influenced by you. Your power is constructed in the judgments and actions of others. When they grant you power, they increase your ability to make their lives better—or worse.

When we receive power, it feels like a vital force. It surges through the body, propelling the individual forward in pursuit of goals. When an individual feels powerful, he or she experiences higher levels of excitement, inspiration, joy, and euphoria, all of which enable purposeful, goal-directed action. Feeling powerful, the individual becomes sharply attuned to rewards in the environment and quickly grasps what goals define any situation. At the same time, surges of power make him or her less aware of the risks that attend any course of action.

This experience of power propels the individual forward in one of two directions: toward the abuse of power and impulsive and unethical actions, or toward benevolent behavior that advances the greater good.

Power makes us feel less dependent upon others, freeing us to shift our focus away from others to our own goals and desires. Power corrupts in four ways:

  • Power leads to empathy deficits and diminished moral sentiments.
  • Power leads to self-serving impulsivity.
  • Power leads to incivility and disrespect.
  • Power leads to narratives of exceptionalism.

The abuse of power is costly in every imaginable way, from declining trust in the community to compromised performance at work to poor health. By contrast, when individuals use their power to advance the greater good, they and the people whom they empower will be happier, healthier, and more productive.

In my experiments, individuals who were kind and focused on others enjoyed enduring power in schools, workplaces, and military units, avoiding the fall from power that is so common in human social life. That enduring power drives from a steadfast focus on others makes sense in light of what we know: Groups give power to individuals who advance the greater good, and they diminish the standing of those who stray from this principle.

How can we stop ourselves from abusing power? What insights can we glean from science so that we avoid mistakes of the past and make the most of our power? The ethical principles that follow are one approach to enabling people to pursue this aspiration.

1. Be aware of your feelings of power

The feeling of power is like a vital force moving through your body, involving the acute sense of purpose that results when we stir others to effective action. This feeling will guide you to the thrill of making a difference in the world.

People who excel in their power—the physician who improves the health of dozens of people a day, the high school teacher who inches her students toward academic success, the writer whose piece of fiction stirs others’ imaginations—they all know this. They feel the rush of dopamine and vagus nerve activation in the purest moments of empowering others and lifting up the greater good.

If you remain aware of this feeling and its context, you will not be entrapped by myths that power is money, or fame, or social class, or a fancy title. Real power means enhancing the greater good, and your feelings of power will direct you to the exact way you are best equipped to do this.

2. Practice humility

Power is a gift—the chance to make a difference in the world. People who enact their power with humility enjoy more enduring power. Ironically, the more we approach our power, our capacity to influence others, with humility, the greater our power is. Don’t be impressed by your own work—stay critical of it. Accept and encourage the skepticism and the push-back of others who have enabled you to make a difference in the world. Remember that others have enabled you to make a difference in the world, and there is always more work to do.

3. Stay focused on others, and give

The most direct path to enduring power is through generosity. Give resources, money, time, respect, and power to others. In these acts of giving we empower others in our social networks, enhancing our own ability to make a difference in the world. Such acts of generosity are critical to strong societies, and empowered individuals are happier. The more we empower others, the greater good is increased.

So give in many ways. This will prove to be the most important foundation not only of your making a lasting difference in the world but of your own sense of happiness and meaning in life.

4. Practice respect

By directing respect toward others, we dignify them. We elevate their standing. We empower them. That all members of a social collective deserve some basic form of dignity is an ancient basis of equality, and it is expressed in our day-to-day lives through respect. Practicing respect requires work. There is no reward people value more than being esteemed and respected. Ask questions. Listen with intent. Be curious about others. Acknowledge them. Compliment and praise with gusto. Express gratitude.

5. Change the psychological context of powerlessness

We can minimize the tendency of some people to feel below others, so toxic to health and well-being, by practicing the first four principles listed above.

More on Power

Read the Greater Good essay that led to Dacher Keltner's new book: "The Power Paradox."

Jeremy Adam Smith explores the research behind women and power.

We can do more, though. Pick one aspect of powerlessness in the world and change it for the better. The rise in inequality and the persistence of poverty give us many opportunities for such work. Attack the stigma that devalues women. Confront racism. Call into question elements of society—solitary confinement, underfunded schools, police brutality—that devalue people. Create opportunities within your community and workplace that empower those who have suffered disempowerment due to moral mistakes of the past.

Such steps may not feel like the game-changing social revolutions of earlier times, but they are quiet revolutions just the same. In every interaction, we have the opportunity to practice empathy, to give, to express gratitude, and to tell unifying stories. These practices make for social interactions among strangers, friends, work colleagues, families, and community members that are defined by commitment to the greater good, where the benefits people provide one another outweigh the harms they cause.


What safeguards are in place to prevent abuse of power? - Psychology

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The Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program Protects Consumers and Taxpayers by Combating Health Care Fraud

Since inception in 1997, the Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control (HCFAC) Program has been at the forefront of the fight against health care fraud, waste, and abuse. Since 2010, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS OIG), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) have been able to expand their capacity to fight fraud and abuse by using powerful, new anti-fraud tools to protect Medicare and Medicaid by shifting from a “pay and chase” approach toward fraud prevention. Through the groundbreaking Healthcare Fraud Prevention Partnership, stronger relationships have been built between the government and the private sector to help protect all consumers.

These focused efforts are successful. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2016, the government recovered over $3.3 billion as a result of health care fraud judgements, settlements and additional administrative impositions in health care fraud cases and proceedings. Since its inception, the HCFAC Program has returned more than $31 billion to the Medicare Trust Funds. In this past fiscal year, the HCFAC program has returned $5.0 for each dollar invested.

The Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), a joint initiative between HHS, OIG, and DOJ, has played a critical role in the fight against health care fraud.

A key component of HEAT is the Medicare Fraud Strike Force – an interagency task force team comprised of OIG and DOJ analysts, investigators, and prosecutors who target emerging or migrating fraud schemes, including fraud by criminals masquerading as health care providers or suppliers.

Since 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force has charged over 3,018 individuals involved in more than $10.8 billion in fraud. Many of these charges have resulted from coordinated, multi-district national takedowns. In June 2016, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force conducted a nationwide health care fraud takedown, which resulted in criminal and civil charges against 301 individuals, including 61 doctors, nurses and other licensed medical professionals, for their alleged participation in health care fraud schemes involving approximately $900 million in false billings. In addition, CMS is suspending payment to a number of providers using its suspension authority. This coordinated takedown is the largest in history, both in terms of the number of defendants charged and loss amount.

Another powerful tool in the effort to combat health care fraud is the federal False Claims Act. In 2016, DOJ obtained over $2.5 billion in settlements and judgments from civil cases involving fraud and false claims against federal health care programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.

Other steps the administration has taken to fight fraud include:

State-of-the-Art Fraud Detection Technology: HCFAC funding also supported HHS OIG’s continued enhancement of data analysis capabilities for detecting health care fraud. HHS OIG continues to use data analysis, predictive analytics, trend evaluation, and modeling approaches to better analyze and target oversight of HHS programs. Analysis teams use data to examine Medicare claims for known fraud patterns, identify suspected fraud trends, and calculate ratios of allowed services as compared to national averages new analytic tools and methods are being developed to perform more innovative and complex data analytics. Combining the expertise of HHS OIG agents, auditors, and evaluators, as well as our HEAT partners, with data analytics and traditional investigative skills has fostered a highly effective model for fighting health care fraud.

Since June 2011, CMS uses the Fraud Prevention System (FPS) on all Medicare fee-for-service claims on a streaming, national basis. Similar to the fraud detection technology used by credit card companies, FPS applies predictive analytics to claims before making payments in order to identify aberrant and suspicious billing patterns. CMS uses leads generated by FPS to trigger actions that can be implemented swiftly.

Enhanced Provider Screening and Enrollment Requirements: Provider enrollment is the gateway to billing the Medicare program, and CMS implemented new critical safeguards in efforts to better screen providers enrolling in the Medicare program. Since 2011, CMS’s enhanced provider screening and enrollment initiatives in Medicare have had a significant impact on removing ineligible providers from the program. Site visits, revalidation and other initiatives have contributed to the deactivation and revocation of more than 652,000 enrollment records.

Health Care Fraud Prevention Partnership (HFPP): The Obama Administration has joined with private insurers, states, and associations in the HFPP to prevent health care fraud on a national scale. To detect and prevent payment of fraudulent billings, HFPP participants exchange information and best practices across the public and private sectors. Since 2013, the HFPP has conducted eight studies that enabled partners, including DOJ, HHS-OIG, FBI, and CMS, states, private plans, and associations to take substantive actions, such as payment system edits, revocations, and payment suspensions to stop fraudulent payments and improve the government’s collective forces against fraud, waste, and abuse.

  • In FY 2016, the HFPP reached a membership level of 70 partner organizations, representing over 65 percent of covered lives within the United States, and an increase of 30 percent since FY 2015. The amount of data collected in support of studies has increased by 300 percent in FY 2016, leading to the performance of new studies, the replication of prior studies with new data, and the attainment of actionable leads.

CMS Fraud Prevention Efforts

CMS is working to ensure that public funds are not diverted from their intended purpose: to make accurate payments to legitimate entities for allowable services or activities on behalf of eligible beneficiaries of federal health care programs. CMS also performs many program integrity activities that are beyond the scope of this report because they are not funded directly by the HCFAC Account or discretionary HCFAC funding. Medicare Fee-for-Service and Medicaid improper payment rate measurement and activities, the Fraud Prevention System, Recovery Audit Program activities, and prior authorization initiatives are discussed in separate reports, and CMS will submit a combined Medicare and Medicaid Integrity Program report to Congress later this year. Some of CMS’ fraud prevention efforts include:


Abuse of Power at Workplace – Meaning, Examples and Impacts

The misuse of the authority vested in a person or an official for personal advantage or misusing it towards juniors or subordinates or a combination of both which results in adverse effects and breeds negativity is called abuse of power.

Before understanding the abuse of power, let us first understand what exactly is power in the workplace. Power is bestowed in employees of the organization and power as it percolates down the hierarchy, reduces.

This is the reason why the delegation of authority can stop the abuse of power in some cases. Power is a byproduct of power.

Once a person gets the authority, he automatically gets the power and can use that power in any way. The dictionary meaning of abuse is to use something in wrong or harmful way or treating someone in such a way which is not acceptable by the law. For example, some women abuse their rights in the commission of the unlawful act.

Similarly, abuse of power takes place when a person in authority makes the wrong use of the power bestowed on it to commit an unlawful act for personal gains or other reasons. Abuse of power at the workplace is also referred to as “malfeasance.” All the abuse like sexual abuse, negligence, physical abuse, etc. are considered the abuse of power.


Tyranny And The Will Of The Majority

Anti-Federalists were concerned a centralized government would embolden the majority — that the majority would realize they could bend the entire republic to its will. As a result the will of the majority could eventually become a tyranny. But in Federalist 9, Hamilton explained that this was already happening in some states precisely because there wasn’t a strong national government to oversee each of the states. Previous republics in ancient times devolved quickly into tyranny and anarchy because there were numerous distractions, but that majority tyranny could be avoided due to the improvements in political science since ancient times.

Hamilton wrote that separation of powers, checks, and balances, and a strong, independent judiciary — which were included in the Constitution — would prevent a republic from devolving into tyranny. Through these measures, the Constitution accounted for human nature and for man’s thirst for ever-increasing power.

In Federalist 10, Madison says faction and partisanship are unavoidable aspects of liberty because men who are free will have different opinions and will disagree with one another. Eliminating faction altogether would be to eliminate liberty — a cure worse than the disease. He says the larger a republic, the broader scope of interests and factions can exist, which reduces the likelihood of any particular faction from getting to big and gaining too much power.

The Constitution requires virtuous men to be the ones serving as representatives — the best and the brightest who have the best interests of the country at heart must be the ones holding power. And that a larger republic expands the pool of talent and diversifies the interests — economic and otherwise — within the country. The wider range of interests reduces the likelihood of a faction to wield all the power.

The smaller the society, the fewer probably will be the distinct parties and interests composing it the fewer the distinct parties and interests, the more frequently will a majority be found of the same party and the smaller the number of individuals composing a majority, and the smaller the compass within which they are placed, the more easily will they concert and execute their plans of oppression. Extend the sphere and you take in a greater variety of parties and interests you make it less probable that a majority of the whole will have a common motive to invade the rights of other citizens. . .

Making laws should not serve a faction, but the common good of the whole republic. Emboldening citizens to chose their own leaders — leaders who have the best interest of the Republic at heart — is what will keep the United States from devolving into the ill-fated democracies of ancient days.


Checks and Balances AND the Safeguards

America drafted the constitution, they ensured that there was a division of power within the government to prevent power being controlled by one individual, or special interest groups. The system of “Checks and Balances,” can be attributed back to the ancient Roman Empire. Many progressive nations adopted this system to keep power in check, and preserve and protect the rights of citizens. This mechanism of governance is designed to limit the power of a single individual or group, ensuring equal treatment under the law. This system ensures that no one is above the law leading to a harmonious interrelationship between the governors and the governed, and also ensures all institutions abide by the law, and are equally protected.

In designing a system of checks and balances, the founders ensured that there is a balance of power between the three branches of government, the Executive, the Legislative, and the Judiciary. The idea of having three branches of government is attributed to the writings of Baron Charles Montesquieu, a French professor and philosopher. His book, The Spirit of Laws, is cited as one that “was read and studied intently in America.” It is also indicated that in it, Montesquieu acknowledged the deceit and wickedness of the human heart, a testament to the behavioral traits of all dictators. The three branches of government carry out their separate functions independently with their powers limited to their respective branches. The checks and balances allow social institutions, religious organizations, corporations, and non-governmental organizations to operate and exist as independent entities. The system of checks and balances does not just regulate government and organizations, but regulates selfish behavior that is geared towards enhancing individual wealth, and prevents abuse of power. In many narratives, theorists and law makers presented how checks and balances regulate excesses and limit power. In his book AMERICA the BEAUTIFUL, Dr. Ben Carson shows the mechanisms of checks that are implemented to regulate the power of each of the branches of government. Here are a few examples

CHECKS ON EXECUTIVE POWERS (PRESIDENT) Congress can override vetoes by the executive Senate can refuse to confirm appointments or ratify treaties Congress can impeach or remove the president Congress can declare war and the Supreme Court can declare execute acts unconstitutional.

CHECKS ON LEGISLATIVE POWERS (CONGRESS) President veto federal bills Supreme Court can rule laws unconstitutional Both houses of Congress must vote to pass laws, checking power within the legislature.

CHECKS ON JUDICIAL POWERS (SUPREME COURT AND JUDGES) Congress can propose constitutional amendments to overturn judicial decisions. (These require 2/3 majority in both houses, and ratification by3/4 of the states Congress can impeach and remove federal judges The president appoints judges, but are confirmed by the Senate. Some of us living in America and other functioning democracies can attest to the application of the checks and balances on social and legal issues. Even though the outcome of the decisions is unfavorable to a group, it affirms that the mechanism works or is in action.

As outlined by Dr. Ben Carson, experience also teaches us that the branch that is likely to be too powerful and act “King-like,” is the executive, which is checked by the other two branches. The power of the other two branches, the judiciary and legislature, will not be minimized, nullified, and cannot be marginalized by the executive. In an effective checks and balances system, the representatives remain connected to their communities and serve their needs, and subjected to being replaced if they do not meet the expectations of the people. Checks and balances support a representative government since all positions are temporary, based on term limits. The embrace of this temporary concept makes the representatives mindful and dutiful.

The Importance of the checks and balances cannot be underestimated. One of its primary function is to check the absolute power of one individual. It also advocates for vigilance to ensure power is watched and monitored to prevent abuse of power, and ensure the protection of rights. Where it is in existence, authoritarianism and tyranny will not occur. In a system of checks and balances, selfishness that leads to amassing of wealth and abuse of power by one individual is prevented. It is a system that favors all social institutions. History and our own experience of dealing with a dictator tells us how one person will use power to gain excesses, and infringe upon the rights of citizens. The common saying that “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” is confirmed to be true with Yaya Jammeh’s dealings with Gambians and the country’s meager resources. In societies where citizens remain uninterested and non-involved, governments and special interest groups have taken advantage of the situation, keeping people in bondage and robbing them of their resources.

It is evident that when CHECKS are OUT OF BALANCE, tyranny ensues. Greed leading to craving for excesses at the expense of others, causes individuals to seek power, and use it as a weapon of repression against citizens. Yaya Jammeh is known for blatantly violating rights and defying the demands of the international governing bodies. The international community has a humanitarian responsibility of providing checks by changing their stance from condemnation to action to prevent human rights abuses. The House of representative in the Gambia does not help in providing checks either. The members gradually detach from the communities and the ideals that they swore to pursue and defend. When they get a taste of power and special privileges, their duties and moral obligation to the people become a lesser priority. They give in to intimidation or assimilate into the oppressive culture. Their obligation of conveying and defending the interests of the people becomes a failure. Religious groups and other institutions have been known to provide checks where society seem to go astray. The involvement of religious leaders and viable institutions, and their ability to intervene as needed in places like Senegal and elsewhere is a confirmation to the previous statement. This was also prevalent during the first republic, which can all be credited to tolerant leadership and a vibrant society.

In progressive and democratic societies, the checks on the abuse of power is also credited to the laws that are enacted to balance power. The preservation of a democratic society cannot be possible without the active participation of the citizens. If they value their rights, they will refuse to idly sit by and allow it to taken away. This is the identity of a functioning democracy, a system in which power truly rest in the hands of the people. It takes a conscious decision and effort for the people to make this principle a reality. Democracy and the enjoyment of rights require the full participation of all citizens, who accept the challenge that the privileges that citizens enjoy entail responsibilities. This is what got America and other progressive nations where they are today, the refusal of the citizens to be herded as sheep. The work of Anderson Gordon, L. (Philosophy of the United States: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness) extensively outlines the importance of checks and balances in ensuring liberties. Creating an educated citizenry would be key to this, a citizenry that are well informed of their rights. An educated citizenry is enlightened about who leads them, and ensure that their leaders are safeguards of the checks and balances. CHECKS AND BALANCES prevents abuse of power, calls for a representative government, and therefore prevents tyranny. A mechanism that is so beneficial and advocates for equality is worth fighting and dying for. We will achieve our objective if we embrace the challenges as a collective responsibility. Optimism and the goodwill always triumph over pessimism. A society that emerged from a horrible past always set the defense mechanisms to avoid repeat. We all have a responsibility to liberate our country and save it for the future generation. The future generation will provide the required checks and balances to avoid tyranny, and ensure there is rule of law.


What effect did John Hay's open door policy letters have on the imperial powers of Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and Japan? A)It provoked the imperial powers to declare war on the United States B)It caused the imperial powers to restrict trade in their

what effect did john hay's open door policy letters have on the imperial powers of britain france germany russia and japan? A:it provoked the imperial powers to declare war on the United States B:it caused the imperial powers to restrict trade in their


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William Lee Adams, “The Truth About Photographic Memory,” Psychology Today, June 9, 2016. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/articles/200603/the-truth-about-photographic-memory Alan Searleman, “Is here such a thing as photographic memory? And if so, can it be learned?” Scientific American, March 12, 2007. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-there-such-a-thing-as/

Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown Law, “The Perpetual Line-Up: Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS),” September 2016. https://www.perpetuallineup.org/sites/default/files/2016-10/21_Texas.pdf

Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968).

7 + Clare Garvie, Alvaro Bedoya, Jonathan Frankle, Georgetown Law Center on Privacy and Technology, The Perpetual Line-Up: Unregulated Police Face Recognition in America(October 18, 2016), Sec. V. https://www.perpetuallineup.org 8 +

Garvie, Bedoya, Frankle, The Perpetual Line-Up: Unregulated Police Face Recognition in America, Sec. I [see note 7].

Kashmir Hill, “The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know It,” New York Times, February 10, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/18/technology/clearview-privacy-facial-recognition.html

Carpenter v. United States, 138 S. Ct. 2206 (2018). [Internal citations omitted]

For example, in Detroit development and implementation of the city’s facial recognition system before public debate led to concern and questions over whether facial recognition was built into the city’s Green Light and traffic cameras. Michael E. Duggan, “Mayor Duggan: I Oppose Use of Facial Recognition Technology for Surveillance,” City of Detroit, July 18, 2019. https://detroitmi.gov/news/mayor-duggan-i-oppose-use-facial-recognition-technology-surveillance.

Patrick Grother, Mei Ngan, Kayee Hanaoka, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Face Recognition Vendor Test (FRVT) Part 3: Demographic Effects, NISTIR 8280 (December 19, 2019): 2. https://doi.org/10.6028/NIST.IR.8280 Joy Buolamwini and Timnit Gebru, “Gender Shades: Intersectional Accuracy Disparities in Commercial Gender Classification,” Proceedings of Machine Learning Research, vol. 81 (2018). http://proceedings.mlr.press/v81/buolamwini18a/buolamwini18a.pdf Joy Buolamwini and Inioluwa Deborah Raji, “Actionable Auditing: Investigating the Impact of Publicly Naming Biased Performance Results of Commercial AI Products,” AIES ‘19: Proceedings of the 2019 AAAI/ACM Conference on AI, Ethics, and Society (2019).

Grother, Ngan, Hanaoka, Face Recognition Vendor Test (FRVT) Part 3: Demographic Effects, 2 [see note 12].

Task Force on Facial Recognition Surveillance, Facing the Future of Surveillance [see note 1] Garvie, Bedoya, Frankle, The Perpetual Line-Up: Unregulated Police Face Recognition in America, Sec. V [see note 7].

15 + Garvie, Bedoya, Frankle, The Perpetual Line-Up: Unregulated Police Face Recognition in America, Sec. III [see note 7]. 16 + Task Force on Facial Recognition Surveillance, Facing the Future of Surveillance, Sec. II [see note 1]. 17 +

“CCTV feeds facial recognition systems for law enforcement,” Biometric Technology Today, vol. 2015, no. 4 (April 2015): 3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0969476515300539

Jesse Davis West, “For Law Enforcement, The Cost of a False Arrest is More Than Just Bad Press,” FaceFirst, October 20, 2017. https://www.facefirst.com/blog/law-enforcement-cost-false-arrest-far-just-bad-press/

Cognitec states that its software can be used for “fast identification of suspects and efficient crime investigations.” [Emphasis added] Cognitec, “Applications: Law enforcement.” https://www.cognitec.com/law-enforcement.html (accessed April 20, 2020) and, as of August 2019, Dataworks Plus promised law enforcement “reliable candidates through facial recognition technology” and that its software “uses facial recognition technology to positively match photosof an individual by identifying key characteristics of the facial image” with capabilities such as “discovering a person’s identity during investigations.” [Emphasis added] Dataworks Plus, “Facial Recognition Technology & Case Management.”

Jake Laperruque, “About-Face: Examining Amazon’s Shifting Story on Facial Recognition Accuracy,” Project On Government Oversight, April 10, 2019. https://www.pogo.org/analysis/2019/04/about-face-examining-amazon-shifting-story-on-facial-recognitionaccuracy/

21 + Jim Trainum, “Facial Recognition Surveillance Doesn’t Necessarily Make You Safer,” Project On Government Oversight, July 22, 2019. https://www.pogo.org/analysis/2019/07/facial-recognition-surveillance-doesnt-necessarily-make-you-safer/ According to then-FBI Deputy Assistant Director Kimberly Del Greco, its system is set so that it “returns a gallery of ‘candidate’ photos [reference photos] of 2-50 individuals (the default is 20).” House Committee on Oversight and Reform. Facial Recognition Technology (Part II): Ensuring Transparency in Government Use: Hearing before the House Committee on Oversight, 116th Cong. (June 4, 2019). https://www.fbi.gov/news/testimony/facial-recognition-technology-ensuring-transparency-in-government-use. 22 + Drew Harwell, “Oregon became a testing ground for Amazon’s facial recognition policing. But what if Rekognition gets it wrong?” Washington Post, April 30, 2019. https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/04/30/amazons-facial-recognition-technology-is-supercharging-local-police/ 23 + Jake Laperruque, “About-Face: Examining Amazon’s Shifting Story on Facial Recognition Accuracy,” Project On Government Oversight, April 10, 2019. https://www.pogo.org/analysis/2019/04/about-face-examining-amazon-shifting-story-on-facial-recognition-accuracy/ 24 +

Clare Garvie, “Garbage In, Garbage Out: Face Recognition on Flawed Data,” Georgetown Law Center on Privacy & Technology, May 16, 2019. https://www.flawedfacedata.com/

In an op-ed advocating for its facial recognition system, then-New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill stated, “The system can also create a mirror image of the right side of a face if we have only the left side, for example, to produce a 3-D model.” This is not a reliable use, given that facial recognition systems examine the full contours of individuals’ faces, and that most individuals’ faces are actually not symmetrical. James O’Neill, “How Facial Recognition Makes You Safer,” New York Times, June 9, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/09/opinion/facial-recognition-police-new-york-city.html

For example, during a recent Congressional hearing FBI Director Christopher Wray responded to inquiries on face recognition by stating “We use it for lead value. We don’t use facial recognition as a basis to arrest or convict.” House Judiciary Committee. Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation: Hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, 116th Cong. (February 5, 2020). https://judiciary.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=2780

Garvie, “Garbage In, Garbage Out: Face Recognition on Flawed Data,” [see note 24].

Jennifer Valentino-DeVries, “How the Police Use Facial Recognition, and Where It Falls Short,”New York Times, January 12, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/12/technology/facial-recognition-police.html (“Although officials said investigators could not rely on facial recognition results to make an arrest, documents suggested that on occasion officers gathered no other evidence.”)

Big Brother Watch, Face Off: The Lawless Growth of Facial Recognition in UK Policing (May 2018), 3-4. https://bigbrotherwatch.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Face-Off-final-digital-1.pdf

Carpenter v. United States, 138 S. Ct. 2206 (2018). (“A person does not surrender all Fourth Amendment protection by venturing into the public sphere. To the contrary what [one] seeks to preserve as private, even in an area accessible to the public, may be constitutionally protected.” [Internal quotes omitted])

Diala Shamas and Nermeen Arastu, Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility Project, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, and Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition, Mapping Muslims: NYPD Spying and its Impact on American Muslims (June 28, 2012). https://www.law.cuny.edu/wp-content/uploads/page-assets/academics/clinics/immigration/clear/Mapping-Muslims.pdf Final Report of the Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, S. Rep. No. 94-755 (1976). https://www.intelligence.senate.gov/resources/intelligence-related-commissions

Kevin Rector and Alison Knezevich, “Social media companies rescind access to Geofeedia, which fed information to police during 2015 unrest,” Baltimore Sun, October 11, 2016. https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/crime/bs-md-geofeedia-update-20161011-story.html

Research found that the NYPD Muslim Surveillance Program resulted in “a striking self-censorship of political speech and activism. Conversations relating to foreign policy, civil rights and activism are all deemed off-limits” and expression of religious identity was also severely chilled as “parents discourage their children from being active in Muslim student groups, protests, or other activism, believing that these activities would threaten to expose them to government scrutiny.” Mapping Muslims: NYPD Spying and its Impact on American Muslims, 4.

34 + This risk is acute because bench warrants can be for minor offenses, and apply to huge portions of a community. For example, a 2015 Department of Justice investigation revealed that Ferguson, Missouri, had active, outstanding municipal arrest warrants—mostly for minor offenses such as unpaid fines for traffic violations—for 16,000 people in a municipality with a population of 21,000. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, Investigation of the Ferguson Police Department, (March 4, 2015) 3-6, 55. https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/opa/press-releases/attachments/2015/03/04/ferguson_police_department_report.pdf 35 +

Paul Mozur, “Inside China’s Dystopian Dreams: A.I., Shame and Lots of Cameras,” New York Times, July 8, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/08/business/china-surveillance-technology.html

36 + Task Force on Facial Recognition Surveillance, Facing the Future of Surveillance, Sec. IV III [see note 1]. 37 +

Valentino-DeVries, “How the Police Use Facial Recognition, and Where It Falls Short” [see note 28].

38 + Valentino-DeVries, “How the Police Use Facial Recognition, and Where It Falls Short” [see note 28].


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