Tax payer money and corruption are intertwined.
A definition of Corruption obtained from the web
“An act done with an intent to give advantage inconsistent with official duty and the rights of others. The act of official or fiduciary person who unlawfully and wrongfully uses his status or character to procure some benefit for himself or for another person contrary to duty and the right of others.”
I encountered an interesting question, that goes like this,…would you tell someone (we call him Z) that his status now was advertently procured?… no doubt that Z had put in effort to secure, and enhance it.
Most of us would answer “no” as it is believed that Z could be an innocent third party in transaction that benefits Z. It is irrelevant to burden Z with historical facts?
Let us look at a possible circumstance. Suppose if this item is a scholarship that is obvious to Z that there is high probability that only Z fits the bill?
Tax Payer Money
The case to draw analogy is the Brompton Bike Case that is on trial, charges filed, inter alia, providing false information, and abetting…
The legal question should be, would the arrangers / book runners be guilty of abetting? Since its a legal question, the courts are in better position to investigate.
The moral question should be asked if we are in the shoes of Z, ”Would I have consented to this arrangement?” if I know that its arranged for my benefit?
If Z answered yes, consent, then would Z be guilty of participation.
Tax Payer Money
Let us look at another 2 cases with different settings.
Your friend resigned from his job and returned from sabbatical leave. He wrote more than a hundred resumes and cover letter but did not clinch even an interview. He was in a dire situation as his expenses piled up.
You wrote a perfect cover letter and resume, bumped up his asking salary by 40%. He bagged the job with this asking salary.
Would we fault him for asking 40% more of salary than is originally intended; and that his resume and cover letter is not his own?
Normally, the answer is no because we don’t bother because he deliver his work. This is what head hunters do for a living.
A chap escaped illegally from a war torn nation, landed on foreign shores and subsequently caught for illegal entry. He successfully sought political asylum, granted citizenship, and now doing extremely well.
Would we fault him if he had bribed his way at the visa office to procure a visa to exit his home country?
Normally, the answer is no because we may recognize that dire situations requires dire responses
One Differentiating Principle
All the three cases looked similar but there is one common distinguishing factor; tax payer money.
In the first case, one person gained, but many lost because abuse assignment of public money is involved. Taxpayer money is abused.
In the second case, one person gained but no tax payer money is lost.
In the last case, had he stayed where he was, no tax payer money was lost, but no taxpayer money was gained.
The fact that tax payer money is lost due to an act is not something to be proud of.
Our conclusion brings us back to introductory quotation, that as long as it is an abuse of tax payer money, no matter the form, one cannot sleep well in the night.