What is Corruption?

Corruption is not just about money in brown envelopes changing hands, but can be manifested in many different ways. On this page, various forms of corruption are described.


What most think of when we talk about corruption is actual bribery, in which someone is paid to perform a service to which the person paying the bribe would not be entitled under normal circumstances.

Palm greasing:

Palm greasing refers to amounts given, for example to public officials, to ensure that services to which you are lawfully entitled are actually performed or are performed within a realistic timeframe.

Gifts and entertainment:

Gifts and offers of entertainment are an extremely normal and widespread way to secure a good relationship with current or future partners. Within reasonable limits, there is therefore nothing wrong with it. But if, however, the gifts and entertainment provided are very extensive, this may cross the line into bribery, because it is provided with the expectation of a reciprocal service.

Conflicts of interest:

Conflicts of interest can in many cases be difficult to identify, as this represents a very discreet kind of corruption. These are situations in which personal relationships and interests are placed ahead of the interests of the company or the public administration.

Charitable donations and sponsorships:

Realistically, charitable donations and sponsorships are not always provided out of a selfless desire to do good, but with the expectation that they may create advertising for the donor, or market the company as responsible and socially conscious. This is not a problem in itself, but can indicate corruption if the donation or sponsorship is provided in the expectation that more than advertising and benchmarking will be involved in the transaction.

Political donations:

Political donations from companies or individuals are permissible and naturally quite acceptable. However, these can be an expression of corruption if such donations are given at times when the companies or individuals concerned wish to gain something from the party or individual politician. It is therefore important that there is transparency concerning who is donating what to whom, so that we can ensure that these are not conditional upon a reciprocal service being provided.