What is corruption?

A healthy planet, a vibrant society, and a better future all depend on a robust democracy, governed with transparency, accountability and integrity.

Corruption is one of the world’s greatest challenges. It undermines good government, distorts public policy, frustrates business opportunities and leads to waste, mismanagement and exploitation. It is often the poorest and most vulnerable people in our community who suffer the most. 

When corrupt politicians, business people or individuals steal our shared resources, cheat their way into powerful positions or write rules that benefit themselves, their family and their friends at the expense of others – everyone loses.  

By entrenching the gap between the haves and the have-nots, corrupt people and corrupt processes stop us from participating in a democracy in which everyone is fairly and justly represented and served. 

“The abuse of entrusted power for private gain”

Transparency International defines corruption broadly. Whether it be ‘grand corruption’ (committed at a high level in government) or ‘petty corruption’ (committed by mid or low-level officials in their interactions with everyday people) – corruption consists of people in positions of power who unfairly and unjustly use that power for their own personal gain. 

We can only tackle corruption by working together.

We need to collectively call for a world in which governments are accountable to the people, in which the practices of business and industry are sensitive to the social and environmental footprint of their actions, and in which community organisations genuinely and fairly serve the people they represent. 

Transparency International Australia is shining a spotlight on corruption and building coalitions against corruption to bring together governments, businesses and community organisations to build stronger democracies. 

Democracy, corruption, transparency