Definition of Corruption

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Corruption, Meaning of...


Corruption is a complex social, political and economic phenomenon. The Global Programme Against Corruption targets countries with vulnerable developing or transitional economies by promoting anti-corruption measures in the public sphere, private sector and in high-level financial and political circles. The Judicial Integrity Programme identifies means of addressing the key problem of a corrupt judiciary.
http://www.unodc.org/unodc/corruption.html

The reality of corruption in Nigeria is that it is a wall-to-wall phenomenon, blanketing and smoldering every aspect of the country's socio-economic life. But in spite of its centrality to the nation's political life and its ubiquity in all other social transactions, it is, perhaps by design, consensus or ignorance a spectral presence, lacking the necessary mass to permit a forceful and physical engagement.

Nigerians have been unable or unwilling to put a name to the various strains of corruption; with the result being that for most, corruption is a generic proposition, a large diaphanous mass enveloping everything, but shrouded in the anonymity of numbers.
The Anatomy Of Corruption advocacy campaign is the proactive extension of the proposedwww.antigraft.org web site.

In partnership with national stakeholders bringing relevant expertise and assets, and drawn from the broad spectrum of the polity, WANGONeT wants to launch an innovative and wide reaching anti-corruption advocacy campaign designed to dissect the body of corruption in Nigeria. The campaign mechanics are:
· Deconstruct and analyze the various types of corruption universally recognized
· Take each type heading and create a full advocacy campaign around it
· Ensure a strong sense of "branding" by explaining how each type of corruption is conducted in Nigeria.
· Firmly establish the causalities and concomitant effect of corruption to the Nigerian state

The forensics of the Anatomy campaign is predicated on deconstructing the amorphous mass that is corruption and naming its organic manifestations. This is even more important in Nigeria, with a seemingly high rate of innumeracy - people don't understand the import of the numbers - and even when they do, are immobilized by the scale of the problem. There is therefore a need to humanize corruption and situate it within a cultural context that is far more easily absorbed and understood, with the hope that this will catalyze action for its control and containment. The very first step is to of course define corruption. In this regard, the United Nations has generated a useful guide to understanding the various manifestations of corruption.

United Nations Universal Definitional Guide

There is no single, universally accepted and comprehensive definition of corruption. 
Attempts to develop such a definition invariably encounter legal, criminological and, in many countries, political issues. As the negotiations of the United Nations Convention against Corruption began in early 2002, options under consideration included not defining corruption at all, as well as a number of proposals in which specific forms or acts of corruption would be listed. 
Proposals to require countries to criminalize corruption consisted primarily of specific offences or groups of offences which depended on factors such as the specific conduct involved, whether those involved were public officials or not, whether cross-border conduct or foreign officials were involved, and unlawful or improper enrichment. Specific forms of corruption are clearly defined and understood, and are the subject of numerous legal or academic definitions. Many of these are also criminal offences, although in some cases governments consider that specific forms are better dealt with using regulatory or civil-law controls. Some of the more commonly encountered forms of corruption include the following.
"Grand" and "Petty" corruption -- Corruption which pervades the highest levels of government, leading to the broad erosion of confidence in good governance, the rule of law and economic stability in the countries concerned is generally referred to as "grand corruption". At the other extreme, corruption can involve the exchange of very small amounts of money or minor favours by those seeking preferential treatment, the employment of friends and relatives in minor positions, and the like. These cases are referred to as "petty corruption" cases. The most critical difference between "grand corruption" and "petty corruption" is that the former involves the distortion or corruption of central functions of government such as legal, economic or other policy-making, the development and enactment of legislation, or judicial independence, whereas the latter develops and exists within the context of established governance and social frameworks.

"Active" and "Passive" corruption -- The terms "active" and "passive" corruption are used in two distinct senses. Generally, in discussing transactional offences such as bribery, "active bribery" refer, to the party who offers or actually pays the bribe, while "passive" bribery refers to the recipient, This is the commonest usage, and the one which will be employed in this Toolkit. In criminal law terminology, however, the terms may be used to distinguish between cases where a particular form of corrupt action was actually carried out as distinct from attempted or incomplete offences. In this sense, "active" corruption would include all cases where some positive conduct, such as the actual payment and/or acceptance of a bribe had taken place, but not cases where a bribe was offered but not accepted or solicited but not paid. Such distinctions are critical in the framing and prosecution of criminal offences, and national legal systems deal with criminal liability for attempts and incomplete offences in different ways. They are less critical in formulating comprehensive national strategies which combine criminal justice and other elements, but care should be taken to avoid confusion.
Bribery -- The essence of bribery is the giving of some form of benefit to unduly influence some action or decision on the part of the recipient or beneficiary. Cases of bribery can be initiated either by a person who seeks or solicits bribes or a person who offers and then actually pays them. Bribery is probably the most commonly known form of corruption. Definitions or descriptions appear in several international instruments as well as the domestic laws of most countries and numerous academic publications
The "benefit" in bribery cases can be virtually anything which might induce the desired outcome, including money, valuables or other less-tangible benefits such as company shares, valuable inside information, sexual or other favours, entertainment, employment or the mere promise of any of these things. It may be passed directly to the beneficiary, or indirectly to, or through, some third party, such as a friend, family member, associate, favourite charity, private business or similar interest, or a political party or campaign. Similarly, the conduct or action for which the bribe is paid can include such things as a positive action or decision, the exertion of more general administrative or political influence or the overlooking of some offence or obligation. Bribes may be paid individually on a case-by-case basis or as part of an ongoing relationship in which officials are given regular benefits in exchange for ongoing results which favour the interests of the person paying the bribe. Bribery, once it occurs, can also lead to other forms of corruption. Once an official has accepted a bribe, for example, his or her further conduct can become open to influence by blackmail, if anyone aware of the bribe threatens to expose it.
In most international and national legal definitions, the purpose is to criminalize bribery, and further limits may be incorporated. The most common of these limit the meaning of "bribery" to cases where the recipient was a public official of some kind, or where some other public interest was triggered, leaving purely-private bribery to non-criminal or non-legal means of resolution. Where the recipient must be a "public official", this is often defined broadly in order to include private individuals who are sometimes offered bribes to influence their conduct in some public function, such as voting or serving as jurors in legal proceedings. Public-sector bribery can target any individual with the power to make a decision or take some action which affects others who are willing to resort to bribery in order to influence the outcome. Common examples include politicians, regulators, law enforcement officials, judges, prosecutors, and inspectors.
Specific types of bribery include the following:
· Influence-peddling: in which public officials or other political or government insiders offer to exert influence not available to outsiders. This is distinct from legitimate political advocacy or "lobbying" in that the corrupt individual is selling access to or influence on government decision-making that he or she only has as a result of public status or office.
· Offering or receiving improper gifts: gratuities, favours or commissions. In some countries, it is common for public officials to accept tips or gratuities in exchange for their services. Even if the payment is not definitively linked to the interests of the applicant, such payments become difficult to distinguish from bribery or extortion, as links between payments and results will always develop.
· Bribery to avoid liability for taxes or other costs: Officials who work for or supervise revenue-collecting agencies, such as tax authorities or customs officers may be bribed to reduce or eliminate amounts of tax or other revenues to be collected; to conceal or overlook evidence of wrongdoing, including tax infractions or other crimes; to ignore illegal imports or exports; or to conceal, ignore or facilitate illicit transactions for purposes such as money laundering.
· Bribery in support of fraud: Payroll officials may be bribed to participate in abuses such as listing and paying non-existent employees ("ghost-workers").
· Bribery to avoid criminal liability: Law-enforcement officers, prosecutors, judges or other officials may be bribed to ensure that other criminal activities are not investigated or prosecuted, or if prosecuted, that a favourable outcome will result.
· Bribery in support of unfair competition for benefits or resources: Public or private-sector employees responsible for making contracts for goods or services may be bribed to ensure that contracts will be made with the party paying the bribe and on favourable terms. In some such cases, where the bribe is paid out of the contract-proceeds themselves, it may also be described as a "kickback" or secret commission.
· Private-sector bribery: The bribery of banking and finance officials has caused economic damage far exceeding the bribes themselves because corrupt officials have approved loans which do not meet basic criteria for security and which cannot later be collected.
· Bribery to obtain confidential or "inside" information: Employees who are privy to valuable confidential information are often the targets of bribery to induce them to disclose it. Actual cases include both public and private sectors (e.g., national security and industrial espionage), as well as such things as "inside" information used to trade unfairly in stocks or securities and trade secrets or other commercially valuable information.
· Embezzlement, theft and fraud: In the context of corruption, these activities all involve the taking or conversion of money, property or other things of value by someone who is not entitled to them, but who has access or opportunities created by virtue of his or her position or employment. In the case of embezzlement and theft, the property is simply taken by someone to charges, for example. In some cases, the condition the situation may be reversed, with an official who has committed acts of corruption or other wrongdoings threatened with exposure. Low-level extortion, such as the payment of "speed money" in order to ensure timely consideration and decision-making of minor matters by officials is widespread in many countries.


· Abuse of Discretion: In some cases, corruption can simply consist of the abuse of a discretion vested in the corrupt individual for his or her personal gain, without other inducements or influences. For example, an official responsible for government contracting may exercise discretion to purchase goods or services from a company in which he or she holds an interest, or propose real estate developments which will increase the value of personally owned property. Patterns of such abuses are often associated with bureaucracies in which broad individual discretion is created, few oversight or accountability structures are present, as well as those in which decision-making rules are so complex as to neutralise the effectiveness of such structures even if they exist.


· Favouritism, nepotism and clientelism: Generally these also involve abuses of discretion. What is different in cases of favouritism, nepotism and clientelism is that the choice is governed not by the direct self-interest of the corrupt individual but the preference of someone else linked to him or her by affiliations such as family ties or membership in a political party, tribe, religious group, or other groupings. If someone bribes a corrupt official to hire him, the official acts in order to obtain the bribe. If a corrupt official hires a relative (nepotism), he or she acts in exchange for the less-tangible benefit of advancing the interests of family or the specific relative involved. The favouring of (or discrimination against) individuals can be based on a wide range of group characteristics, including race, religion, geographical factors, political affiliation and other factors, or on personal or organisational relationships, such as friendship or membership in clubs or associations.
· Other conduct which creates or exploits conflicting interest: As noted in the United Nations Manual on Anti-Corruption Policy, most forms of corruption involve either creating or exploiting some conflict between the official or professional responsibilities of a corrupt individual and his or her individual interests. The payment of a bribe creates such an interest, whereas most cases of embezzlement, theft or fraud involve an individual yielding to temptation and taking undue advantage of a conflict which already exists. The general category of exploiting a conflict of interest covers the remainder of the latter category. In both private business and in the public sector, employees and officials are routinely confronted with circumstances in which their personal interests conflict with those of their responsibility to act in the best interests of their employer or the state.
· Improper political contributions: Distinguishing between legitimate contributions to political parties and organisations and payments made in an attempt to unduly influence present or future activities by a party or its members when they are in office is one of the most difficult challenges in developing anti-corruption measures. A donation made because the donor supports the party and wishes to increase its chances of being elected is not corrupt, may be an important part of the political system, and in some countries is a basic right of expression or political activity protected by the constitution. A donation made with the intention or expectation that the party will, once in office, favour the interests of the donor over the interests of the public in return is tantamount to the payment of a bribe, except there is no concrete link between the payment and any specific act on the part of the recipient or beneficiary. Regulating political contributions has also proven difficult in practice. Donations may take the form of direct cash payments, low-interest loans, the giving of goods or services, or other intangible forms which favour the interests of the political party involved One common approach is measures which seek to ensure transparency by requiring disclosure, ensuring that both the donor and recipient are politically accountable. Another is to limit the size of contributions in an effort to prevent any one donor from having too much influence.

CORRUPTION - An act done with an intent to give some advantage inconsistent with official duty and the rights of others. It includes bribery, but is more comprehensive; because an act may be corruptly done, though the advantage to be derived from it be not offered by another.

Sometimes corruption is understood as something against law; such as, a contract by which the borrower agreed to pay the lender usurious interest. It is said, in such case, that it was corruptly agreed, etc.
Corruption is conventionally understood, and referred to, as the private wealth-seeking behaviour of someone who represents the state and the public authority. It is the misuse of public goods by public officials, for private gains. The working definition of the WorldCorruption is conventionally understood, and referred to, as the private wealth-seeking behaviour of someone who represents the state and the public authority. It is the misuse of public goods by public officials, for private gains. The working definition of the WorldCorruption is conventionally understood, and referred to, as the private wealth-seeking behaviour of someone who represents the state and the public authority. It is the misuse of public goods by public officials, for private gains. 
Most definitions of corruption will underline corruption as a particular (and, one could say, perverted) state-society relation. Corruption is usually understood as involving some "corrupted" politicians and public administrators. Corruption is when a civil servant, official, bureaucrat or politician (anyone elected or appointed to a position of public authority, with power to allocate (scarce) public resources in the name of the state or the government) is abusing this official position for personal or group gain. The corrupt act is when this person demands or accepts money or some other form of reward, for himself or for his family, friends and allies. Most definitions of corruption will underline corruption as a particular (and, one could say, perverted) state-society relation. Corruption is usually understood as involving some "corrupted" politicians and public administrators. Corruption is when a civil servant, official, bureaucrat or politician (anyone elected or appointed to a position of public authority, with power to allocate (scarce) public resources in the name of the state or the government) is abusing this official position for personal or group gain. The corrupt act is when this person demands or accepts money or some other form of reward, for himself or for his family, friends and allies. Most definitions of corruption will underline corruption as a particular (and, one could say, perverted) state-society relation. Corruption is usually understood as involving some "corrupted" politicians and public administrators. Corruption is when a civil servant, official, bureaucrat or politician (anyone elected or appointed to a position of public authority, with power to allocate (scarce) public resources in the name of the state or the government) is abusing this official position for personal or group gain. The corrupt act is when this person demands or accepts money or some other form of reward, for himself or for his family, friends and allies.

Corruption has recently been the subject of substantial theorising and empirical research, and this has produced a bewildering array of alternative approaches, explanations, typologies and remedies. Corruption is understood as everything from the paying of bribes to civil servants and the simple theft of public purses, to a wide range of dubious economic and political practices in which businesspeople, politicians and bureaucrats enrich themselves.
The issue of corruption is an old one that has re-entered the current political and economic debate from the new interest in the role of the state in the developing world, and from the assumption that the state is an indispensable instrument for economic development, redistribution and welfare. In contrast to the largely rejected "state-dominated" and "state-less" development models, there is now much consensus on the need for an efficient medium-sized state apparatus with a political will and adequate economic policies to ensure economic development. Corruption is seen as counter-productive to the needed economic and political reforms, accountability, transparency, and good governance.
The intention of this paper is to classify the various forms of corruption in order to operationalise the concept for analytical and practical purposes. First, different forms of corruption will be outlined. Secondly, corruption will be defined as a particular state-society relationship, and the distinction made between political corruption and bureaucratic corruption. Then two more distinctions will be added, namely between "individual" and "collective" forms of corruption, and corruption as a mechanism of either "upward extraction" or "downward redistribution". This will sum up to the basic argument that the fight against corruption will have to be placed within a broader agenda of democratisation.

Corruption has recently been the subject of substantial theorising and empirical research, and this has produced a bewildering array of alternative approaches, explanations, typologies and remedies. Corruption is understood as everything from the paying of bribes to civil servants and the simple theft of public purses, to a wide range of dubious economic and political practices in which businesspeople, politicians and bureaucrats enrich themselves.
The issue of corruption is an old one that has re-entered the current political and economic debate from the new interest in the role of the state in the developing world, and from the assumption that the state is an indispensable instrument for economic development, redistribution and welfare. In contrast to the largely rejected "state-dominated" and "state-less" development models, there is now much consensus on the need for an efficient medium-sized state apparatus with a political will and adequate economic policies to ensure economic development. Corruption is seen as counter-productive to the needed economic and political reforms, accountability, transparency, and good governance.
The intention of this site is to classify the various forms of corruption in order to operationalise the concept for analytical and practical purposes. First, different forms of corruption will be outlined. Secondly, corruption will be defined as a particular state-society relationship, and the distinction made between political corruption and bureaucratic corruption. Then two more distinctions will be added, namely between "individual" and "collective" forms of corruption, and corruption as a mechanism of either "upward extraction" or "downward redistribution". This will sum up to the basic argument that the fight against corruption will have to be placed within a broader agenda of democratisation.

International Resources

Definition Of Corruption 
More Definitions
Police Corruption: Towards A Working Definition 
Corruption - Definitions And Concepts 
Definitions Of Corruption 
Anticorruption Policy 
Corruption Is All-Pervasive 
What Do We Mean By Corruption? 
Understanding Corruption 
Corruption?

National Resources 
The Murkier Side Of Nigeria's Economy 
Nigeria Daily 
Corruption In Nigeria: A New Paradigm For Effective Control 

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