Undetected and unchecked corruption in the public sector can cause serious damage including:
undermining public trust in government
wasting public resources and money
causing injustice through advantaging some at the expense of others
Globally, the World Economic Forum has estimated that the cost of corruption is about US$2.6 trillion a year. The impacts of corruption disproportionately affect the most vulnerable people in society. Widespread corruption deters investment, weakens economic growth and undermines the rule of law.
Corrupt conduct is deliberate or intentional wrongdoing, not negligence or a mistake. While it can take many forms, corrupt conduct occurs when:
a public official uses, or tries to use, the knowledge, power or resources of their position for personal gain or the advantage of others
a public official acts dishonestly or unfairly, or breaches public trust
a member of the public influences, or tries to influence, a public official to use his or her position in a way that is dishonest, biased or breaches public trust.