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Understanding the risk

Traditionally, the corruption of public officials has been achieved through bribery, blackmail, the exploitation of inappropriate relationships between criminal entities and public officials, the subtle targeting of senior officials and, to a much lesser extent, through infiltration of public sector agencies. Corrupt public officials might themselves be involved in criminal activity, soliciting for bribes, as well as in concealing the crimes of others.

Corruption inevitably involves a trusted insider—a person who, often (but not always) for monetary profit, misuses the tools, resources, discretions and privileges that are available to him or her.  That is to say, the corrupt officer has a commodity to sell or trade, and— whether for money, malice, manipulation or misplaced loyalty—the officer agrees to do so.

Although criminal methods are numerous, corruption of law enforcement, border and regulatory agencies is one means by which organised crime groups conduct business and launder profits.

The main commodity sought by organised crime is general information about law enforcement capability, methods, personnel and systemic vulnerabilities.  In ACLEI's jurisdiction, several significant instances of specific information being released to criminals have also been detected.

ACLEI's understanding of corruption risks continues to evolve. ACLEI and its jurisdictional partners, maintain an awareness of patterns and trends in corruption risk, and gather together contemporary knowledge of best practice integrity arrangements, including risks assessments, fraud controls and governance frameworks—and the concepts that underpin them.

This understanding is the key to achieving success from targeted prevention activities. Scanning a wide range of information on corruption cases both inside and outside law enforcement, assists ACLEI to identify warnings and indicators of corruption and to establish priorities for prevention.

Corruption risks in other sectors may be:

  • Major procurement
  • Commercial espionage
  • Embezzlement/self-enrichment
Key insight: What assets are you protecting?