Corruption

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Behaviour by individuals aimed at securing a monetary advantage in business or politics through illegal dealings. Corruption typically covers bribery – illegal payments made to secure a contract or service – along with falsifying documents to enhance the value of a product.

The word itself derives from the Roman Latin past participle of corrumpere, meaning ‘to mar, bribe or destroy’. Investopedia defines it as “dishonest behavior by those in positions of power, such as managers or government officials.

Corruption can include giving or accepting bribes or inappropriate gifts, double-dealing, under-the-table transactions, manipulating elections, diverting funds, laundering money and defrauding investors.”

Transparency International, which works to expose corruption among governments, companies and wealthy or powerful people, defines corruption as “the abuse of entrusted power for private gain”. This can involve cronyism, where someone’s friends are given valuable contracts outside the normal market tendering process, and nepotism, where a relative is appointed to a position of power even though they are unqualified or unsuitable for the role.”

Links

Transparency International: What is corruption?