Corruption is any violation of due conduct with the intention of undue benefit for one’s own advantage or for the advantage of any other person. The Integrity and Prevention of Corruption Act (hereinafter: IPCA) defines corruption as “any violation of due conduct by officials and responsible persons in the public or private sector, as well as the conduct of persons initiating such violations or of persons benefiting from it, for the purpose of undue benefit promised, offered or given directly or indirectly, or for the purpose of undue benefit demanded, accepted or expected for one’s own advantage or to the advantage of any other person. ”
Based on the definition, corruption may be divided into the following components, which must apply to any conduct in order for it to be regarded as corrupt:
- any violation (all manners of conduct, both taking action, i.e. when one performs an action they were not supposed to, and failing to take action, i.e. when one does not perform an action they were required to),
- failure to engage in due conduct (action which one is required to perform according to applicable laws and statutory instruments as well as applicable codes of conduct and other internal regulation of business and professional associations, companies, clubs, etc.),
- violation is committed by an official person (as provisioned in the IPCA, viz.: officials, high-ranking civil servants, and other public servants, as well as managers and members of the management and supervisory boards of public-sector entities), a responsible person (persons authorised to make decisions or to take certain action as laid out by the regulation or act issued by a competent authority or by the nature of tasks they perform, inter alia also members of management or supervisory bodies in legal entities, irrespective of the ownership structure, and also sole entrepreneurs and traders), or other person (i.e. anyone, regardless of their function or status),
- in the public sector (state bodies, self-governing local communities, public agencies, public institutes and public utility institutes, other entities governed by public law which are indirect users of the government budget or the local community budget, as well as public undertakings and private companies in which a controlling interest or a dominant influence is held either by the State or a local community)
- or the private sector (all areas not covered by the definition of “public sector” as provided in the IPCA)
- the intention of obtaining advantage for oneself or another person (“advantage” may be pecuniary or non-pecuniary, i.e. any intangible advantage, e.g. undue priority in receiving medical attention. In this regard, the kind, sort, or form of the advantage is irrelevant).
For any conduct to be perceived as corrupt, “corruptive intention” is required. Such intention is present when an advantage is promised or given with the intention of encouraging or rewarding a violation of due conduct, or when an advantage is accepted as reward for engaging in due conduct. When a violation and an advantage are identified in absence of an intention, the legal definition of corruption is not satisfied.