Bribery of public officials

Other Names:
Unlawful rewarding of public servants
Fraudulent enrichment of state officials
Bribery of government officials

Bribery includes the offering, demanding, giving and receiving of any payments or gifts to a public official or other public person in connection with his official functions, with the intention of improperly influencing a governmental decision. Unlawful rewarding of a public servant is making or receiving payment for an official action or violating a legal duty in the past. This is similar to a bribe but follows the act rather than preceding it. Payment for past favours implies the possibility of reward for future favours and as such corrupts officials. Bribery is sometimes disguised as (illegal) political contributions, payment of royalties, favours, or irregular loans. Investigation of bribery charges are exceptionally difficult, as illicit payments can be committed under the guises of various legitimate transactions; for example giving an extra percentage of profit or interest, or other soft terms. It is a crime against legal justice, according to which an official is bound to promote the common good of the community. It is also against distributive justice, by which rulers are bound to act toward persons and groups in accord with their merits, needs and capacities. Elected public office holders are the usual offenders, though the injustice may be committed by those who are appointed to public office rather than elected.

Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
Problem Type:
E: Emanations of other problems
Date of last update
04.10.2020 – 22:48 CEST