Conceptual Understanding of Bribery
Discuss about the Professional Ethics for Bribery Act.
The report ideally focuses on understanding and evaluating the concept of bribery while also in evaluating the economic, ethical, legal and moral viewpoints of the practice of generating and acceptance of bribes in the larger society. Empirical discussions from journal articles and other literary sources like books would be employed for conducting the needed analysis and in generation of needful inferences.
The Bribery Act of 2010 identifies bribery as the improper rendering and receiving of financial and non-financial advantage based on the influence generated out of an individual’s position and trust in an organisation. The act of bribery that does not involve the direct transfer or exchange of cash focuses on rendering of expensive gifts and generation of services like lavish treatments and facilities or encouraging individuals taking bribes to avail air and rail tickets to significant events(Zafar & Lodhi, 2015). The history of bribery is observed to have its roots to around 3000 B.C. and also the issue of bribery is also condemned by the Islamic law in different Islamic nations. The act of bribery tends to significantly affect the capitalist economic system around the world. Bribery potentially affects the free market economy in that it reduces the level of productivity required to be accrued for the producer or manufacturer. Further, bribery related activities is also evaluated to help in generating greater funds, facilities and amenities in the hands of the richer population such that the highest amount would go to the person generating the highest bid(Carrigan & De Pelsmacker, 2009).
The act of bribery also generates increased distrust among the minds of the individuals relating to the different institutions government, non-government, legal, religious and also other professional institutions in which bribery is observed to be highly present among the employees and other authorities. The existence of bribery in a society significantly affects and degrades the value generated by the different types of commercial, non-commercial, governmental and non-governmental institutions. It tends to create a social revolution that in turn affects the level of dependency of individuals on the different types of social institutions (Lauer & Cohenour, 2014). The above discussion thus proves the taking of bribes by individuals relating to higher authorities is erroneous in nature and thus requires being effectively monitored and restrained. Bribery is also identified as the root of all corruptive activities that takes place inside a society and thereby attracts the attention of international conventions for tacking the impacts of bribery on the larger society(Brunori, Malandrin, & Rossi, 2012). Two main types of briberies that are carried out in corporate firms like public and commercial bribery are defined and compared as is illustrated in the following illustration.
Economic Evaluation of Bribery
The economic approach to bribery focuses on undertaking and evaluating its impacts based on a clinical cost-benefit fashion. The economic approach to bribery considers as the act of bribery to be legitimate such that the individual paying for the bribe ideally gets access to benefits and opportunities that are expected by the person. The public services like gaining opportunities of admitting children in expensive and elite educational institutions, quality and premium healthcare services and also regarding employment opportunities in both public and private institutions encourage individuals to pay for bribes to authorities involved in such firms. The public and private authorities focusing on gaining hefty bribes aim to create an environment that reflects lack or scarcity of resources that thereby require individuals interested in availing such opportunities to pay for the increased monetary and non-monetary demands of the scrupulous authorities(Zhang, 2015).
Further, the high amount of bribes required by public and private authorities thereby reflect only the richer masses in the society to continually gain larger opportunities relating earning effective benefits generated by the institutions. Again, people suffering from poverty and lack of needed education feel the urge for generation of bribes to gain access to scarce and expensive resources. The interest for paying increased amount of bribes tend to gain ground owing to the growing urge for individuals in gaining access to public services (Calkins, 2014). It is also observed that growth in the number of contacts of individuals to public services tends to enhance their chances regarding the payment of bribes. Contacts of individuals with public services tends to vary according to the age of individuals where elderly people though do not require approaching educational institutions for admitting their children yet require to generate bribes for gaining benefits like pensions and other elderly benefits over which they have legal rights(Gonzalez-Padron, 2016).
Increasing awareness among youths and other individuals related to the need for generation of bribes to authorities in government and non-government institutions contributes to the growth of practice regarding the rendering of bribes. Thus, employment of social networking platforms like Facebook and Twitter further encourages the growth of word-of-mouth based communication that positively influences the bribing practices. Bribery is observed to have reduced influence on the poor people owing to their limited or reduced access and interests in availing better living, health, education and other types of social and economic opportunities (Johnson, 2014). Higher authorities operating in government institutions are observed to fetch bribes not only in cash and equivalent from their clients and also from the client groups of the institution but also evaluate and measure the amount of bribes obtained compared to the number of contracts generated from their end (Peterson, 2013). Higher ranking officials and authorities in government and non-government firms are observed to demand around 4.7 percent of the total contract value as bribes while the lower ranking officials tend to demand around 1.2 percent of the amount generated as contract values. Further, cash bribes are observed to be largely prevalent in poorer economies owing to the existence of increased customs (Bowen, 2013).
Legal Evaluation of Bribery
The legal evaluation of bribery is carried out through the incorporation of legal statutes pertaining to different economies both developed and emerging. In United States, bribery is considered as a potential crime such that it focuses on punishing any individual identified with rendering of valuable gifts and increased amounts for influencing public officials and higher authorities for helping in the accomplishment of tasks and also in gaining access to public resources and infrastructures. The American law focuses on punishing individuals identified committing bribery with a fine that amounts to three times the total amount rendered to public officials as bribe and also an imprisonment of around 15 years (Uusitalo & Oksanen, 2004).
The law relating to bribery and corruption encompasses different rules that aim to punish different individuals involved with the activities for rendering and also taking of bribes. Bribes here are identified as different types of cash and non-cash emoluments like assets, services and different types of favours that are generated by individuals to public officials and authorities operating along both private and public institutions for meeting of private interests (Suikkanen, 2014). Further, the law relating to bribery to help avoid certain misunderstandings associated with the identification of real cases of bribery rightly states that the act of bribery is more involved with the exchange or transfer of property. The exchange or transfer of property is made with an intention or effort associated with influencing an authority for generating a favourable decision and also for helping in gaining of needed access to properties and scarce resources(Yang & Jiang, 2014).
The American law associated with bribery also restrains individuals involved with the taking of bribes from holding the position of authority in public offices. Further the proving of crime associated with bribery requires the collection of facts and evidences from individuals that were present during the scene when bribery. The people identified for generation of evidences are held as witness to the bribery event and significantly contribute in rendering of first hand information associated with the bribery issue. However defence attorneys insisting to arrive at the truth related to the bribery issue further focuses on cross-examining the evidence rendered by the witnesses. Cross-checking or cross-examination of the issues or evidences highlighted by the witnesses is required to be conducted by the attorney such that the same helps in reduction of the element of bias (Angle & Slote, 2013).
Public officials identified in the Law relating to bribery and corruption in United States are identified as persons like Members of Congress, delegates and also resident commissioners and also other individuals identified to be working on behalf of the US Government. Again, ‘public officials’ as identified in the American statute related to corruption are also identified as government departments or agencies or such designated to be operating based on the guidelines or directions generated by government agencies, departments and branches. Again, the term ‘public official’ is identified as a person that is nominated or rather appointed as a public official by the agencies or departments related to the US Government. Further, a person that has been identified and selected as a public official is rather appointed or nominated to act in the role of a public official by the government bodies and authorities (Athanassoulis, 2013).
The ethical evaluation of bribery reflects that in some economies the aspect or event of paying bribes is not identified as an ethical issue. The generation of bribes or the cost required to be expended by an individual for payment of bribes to superior officials and parties are only identified as an extension of business cost. The aspect of bribery is identified as a potential crime for business institutions such that a survey conducted during 2014 reflected that around 70 percent of the organisations associated with the extractives industry, 63 percent of organisations related to the defence and security sectors while around 47 and 33 percent of the companies belonging to the pharmaceutical and media market are observed to be increasingly connected with the generation of bribes (Angle & Slote, 2013).
Close evaluation of cases associated to corporate bribery potentially reflects that different types of gifts and rewards are generated to corporate authorities by individuals as a mode of fulfilling and addressing social customs relating to different economies. Individuals focusing on rendering different types of gifts whether cash based or not are thereby required to identify the customs and cultures associated with the different economies (Wheeler, 2013). The evaluation of local customs related to the rendering and acceptance of gifts would help the individuals to rightly judge and evaluate cases of appreciation and rejection of gifts. Individuals or institutions thus aiming to render and accept gifts and cash or non-cash rewards are required to conduct a thorough study of the codes of conduct of the different firms. The study of codes of conduct for the firms would help in gaining a clear knowledge of the moral expectations of the institutions and thereby would encourage the individuals to act in a likewise fashion (Fröding, 2012).
International business institutions are observed to be caught in a dilemma associated with the ethical aspect of gifts and rewards whether monetary or non-monetary in nature owing to the fact that some economies reflect increased acceptance of such rewards and gifts. Bribery in whatsoever form is identified to be highly unethical and illegal in developed economies like United States and United Kingdom. Some economies however reflect that is not possible to conduct business and also non-business operations without the taking and acceptance of bribes, cash or otherwise (Russell, 2013).
Generation of a gift to an individual operating in a significant role in a business or non-business institution is identified as a crime in United States while in Romania the same is observed as a normal way for gaining exposure and conducting of business activities. Similarly, in Germany cost or expenditure incurred relating to the generation of gifts and rewards are effectively written off by the organisations while the Japanese organisations tend to identify such costs as a potential part of the prime cost of business operations conducted by the firm (Herring, 2013). Further, the event of bribery is also identified by diverse names in different economies with also the existence of legal statutes governing and controlling the generation of bribes to government, public and private institutions and parties. Paying of bribes are considered legally correct in different countries owing to several reasons like the practice and influence of competitor firms in generation of bribes to capture stakes in existing businesses, increased delays owing to slow bureaucratic system, influence of tax laws in encouraging bribery and also the existence of below average level salaries and compensations generated to the staffs of public institutions (Boje, 2015).
Bribery is considered as a social crime in that it affects the value of shared ideals that focuses on generating a common good. The act of bribery only focuses on meeting the objectives of material gains rather than enhancing social and common good. Bribery betrays shared ideals such that it affects and suffers the generation of common good. Though the act of bribery tends to increase the level of economic costs and reduces the amount of benefits accruing to the society yet bribery is also analysed to reflect a moral dimension. The generation of bribes by some individuals in the form of gifts and amounts and the acceptance of such by other individuals holding positions of authority along both public and private institutions rightly reflect the existence of moral gaps (Johnstone, 2015).
The existence of bribery in the larger society thus contributes in generating increased awareness about moral loopholes that tend to affect the fabric of trust and dependency. The same requires the development of effective strategies that would help in formulating potential solutions and remedies to social problems generated from the bribing public officials and authorities. Further, the rendering and acceptance of bribes by members of the society also creates potential gaps in the regulatory mechanisms such that the same requires the development of effective regulations and statutes and codes of conduct to be followed by the officials and authorities of both public and private institutions.
Moreover, the existence of bribery and corruptive activities in the larger society also contributes in enhancing the level of social awareness to potentially cease the practice of rendering and acceptance of bribes. The same requires the different social institutions to form effective partnerships with other institutions for helping in fighting the activities involving corruption and bribery (Burkhardt & Nathaniel, 2013). Further, the event of bribery also requires understanding and evaluating the need for revising the compensation structure of public officials such that the same would encourage and motivate them to not accept bribes. Moreover, the development of an effective payment structure would also make the public officials understand and feel that the government is conscious of their needs for which the compensation structures have been revised based on contemporary standards. The above feelings and evaluations would rightly help in reducing the generation and acceptance of bribes in the greater society (Morris, 2015).
The analysis carried out in the report potentially reflects that the generation of bribery acts as a potential economic cost for the richer and middle income persons in the society and also influences other individuals along the richer society for generation of further bribes. The incorporation of the social networking platforms like Facebook and Twitter considerably influences the youths and elderly persons for following others in the generation of bribes to public officials and authorities for getting the work done. The analysis of the legal aspect of bribery reflects needed confusion in that some countries tend to accept bribery as an extension of the operation cost of the firm.
Further, different types of legal statutes both along the developed and emerging economies are developed to potentially reduce the incidence of bribery along government and private institutions. The ethical aspect of bribery analyses the ethical significance of the generation of gifts and non-cash bribery to public officials in that in some countries like Romania and Greece the generation of gifts is not considered unethical as in developed economies like United States and United Kingdom. Finally, the moral aspect of bribery is also discussed in the report where the incidence and growth of bribery tends to create and enhance the level of awareness in the greater society regarding the generation of codes of conduct and other regulations for controlling and reducing its impact.
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