Is a conflict of interest corruption?

Conflicts of interest are a corruption risk. However, we should not confuse corruption risk with real corruption. If the private interest of a public servant effectively ends up biasing the professional judgement of that individual and the latter obtains a personal benefit (direct or indirect, financial or other, present or future) by abusing their professional position (their decision-making ability and the resources under their control), we would say that it had become an act of corruption.

The following table shows the differences between conflict of interest and corruption.

  Conflict of interest (risk of corruption) Corruption
What is it? A situation A voluntary action or omission
Why does it happen? Because there is a private (legitimate) interest To obtain a private (illegitimate) benefit
What does it produce? A tendency or risk of bias in the professional judgement A biased decision or already biased judgement