The UK Bribery Act identifies the key elements of bribery as:* a financial or other advantage; and intention to induce improper performance of a function or to influence the recipient in their official capacity.
differentiates between "according to rule" bribery and "against the rule" bribery "According to rule"—facilitation payments (bribes) are paid to receive (preferential) treatment for something that the bribe receiver is required to do by law.
"Against the rule"—the bribe is paid to obtain services the bribe receiver is prohibited from providing.
Transparency International also has formulated a clear and focused definition of corruption as "the abuse of entrusted power for private gain".
Other descriptions of corruption include: General corruption—the dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those who hold power, typically involving bribery.
Entity corruption—criminality and the abuse of power by the executive, managers, officials and employees of the entity, either internally or externally.
Bureaucratic corruption (appointed officials)— the abuse of power, office or resources by government employees for personal gain (e.g. by extortion, soliciting or offering bribes).
Political corruption (elected officials)—the use of legislated powers by government officials for illegitimate private gain.
Systemic corruption—the complete subversion of a political or economic system.