PATRONAGE (see CLIENTELISM) – refers to the support or sponsorship of a patron (wealthy or influential guardian). Patronage is commonly used to make appointments to government jobs, promotions, contracts for work, etc. However, most patrons are motivated by the desire to gain power, wealth and status through their behaviour. Patronage transgresses the boundaries of legitimate political influence, and violates the principles of merit and competition.

PETTY CORRUPTION (see BUREAUCRATIC CORRUPTION) – also called administrative or bureaucratic corruption, petty corruption is the everyday type that takes place where bureaucrats meet the public directly. Petty corruption is also described as ‘survival’ corruption: a form of corruption which is pursued by junior or mid-level agents who may be grossly underpaid and who depend on relatively small but illegal rents to feed and house their families and pay for their children’s education.

Although petty corruption usually involves much smaller sums than those that change hands in acts of grand or political corruption, the amounts are not petty for the individuals adversely affected. Petty corruption disproportionately hurts the poorest members of society, who may experience requests for bribes regularly in their encounters with public administration and services like hospitals, schools, local licensing authorities, police, taxing authorities and so on.

POLITICAL CORRUPTION – the manipulation of policies, institutions and rules of procedure in the allocation of resources and financing by political decision makers, who abuse their position to sustain their power, status and wealth. It could refer to grand or high-level corruption, or corruption within the political and electoral processes. In both cases, political corruption not only leads to the misallocation of resources, but it also perverts the manner in which decisions are made. See CORRUPTION, GRAND CORRUPTION, and PETTY CORRUPTION.

POLITICAL WILL – a commitment by political leaders to address the challenges facing society or to fulfil a political pledge, such as fighting corruption or increasing political participation, by pursuing the appropriate policy responses, including wide-spread reforms.

POLITICALLY EXPOSED PERSONS – individuals who are or have been entrusted with prominent public functions in a foreign country, for example heads of state or of government, senior politicians, senior government, judicial or military officials, senior executives of state owned corporations, or important political party officials. The term often includes their relatives and close associates.

Banks and other financial institutions are supposed to treat these clients as high-risk, applying enhanced due diligence at both the start of the relationship and on an ongoing basis, including at the end of a relationship to ensure that the money in their bank account is not the proceeds of crime or corruption.

PRIVATE SECTOR – any company, household and institution that is not controlled by the public sector and which is run for private profit. Private sector corruption is characterised by groups from this sector influencing decisions and actions that lead to abuses of entrusted power.

PROCUREMENT – a multi-step process of established procedures to acquire goods and services by any individual, company or organisation, from the initial needs assessment to the contract’s award and service delivery.

PROTECTED DISCLOSURE (see WHISTLEBLOWER) – a statement or report about serious wrongdoing, like corrupt conduct, maladministration or a substantial waste of public money. It is an admission or revelation that – when fulfilling certain requirements – entitles the person who made the disclosure to support and protection from reprisals, victimisation or even prosecution. Protected disclosures are made internally in the organisation, or to an ombudsman or someone with the power to prevent retaliation against the discloser.

PUBLIC SECTOR – the government and its decentralised units, including the police, military, public roads and transit authorities, primary schools and healthcare system, that use public funds and provide services based on the motivation to improve citizens’ lives rather than to make a profit.