Transparency and Anti-Corruption


2. Understanding corruption

A useful way of analysing corruption is to examine the behaviour of ‘the payer’ or ‘the supplier’ and the reasons for his behaviour separately from the behaviour of ‘the taker’ or ‘the demander’ and the reasons for his behaviour. The extractive industries are … generally considered to be on the ‘supply-side’ of corruption and bureaucrats or politicians on the ‘demand-side’. The nomenclature is not intended to indicate where the initial intention of corruption occurred, but only who supplies the private gain and to whom it passes. Either side can initiate a corrupt act. 

A different nomenclature used for corruption distinguishes between active and passive corruption. In discussions of transactional offences such as bribery, "active bribery" usually refers to the offering or paying of the bribe, while "passive bribery” refers to the receiving of the bribe.

Other commonly used terms are petty corruption and grand corruption. “Petty corruption” is low level corruption often where public officials have dealings with the public for the granting of licences etc. and often involve a individual member of the public “Grand corruption” is high level corruption that can often involve policy decisions and may affect numerous members of the public.