Share
Explore BrainMass

Lobbying and Bribery

Lobbying is defined as "the act of trying to directly shape or influence a government official's understanding and position on a public policy issue." (Post, Business and Society 7th ed.) What is the difference between lobbying and bribery?

Whether bribery should be considered unethical or illegal has been debated extensively. Many scholars and business people take the position that bribery should not be treated as unethical. Why is it that the general public considers bribery to be immoral? Use ethical theories or philosophies to explain your answer.

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (15 U.S.C. sec. 78) makes it illegal for US companies to pay bribes even if they are in foreign countries. Assuming that this is a case where the FCPA would apply, it helps to look at its definition of a bribe. The FCPA defines a payment that is "meant to influence an official to award or maintain business activity" as illegal. Payments that assist the payer to obtain ministerial actions are not prohibited. What argument could the SLOC members make that the payments made do not fit the definition of an illegal bribe under the FCPA?

What is the appropriate punishment for violation of ethical and legal principles? Should the remedies be limited to expulsion of the members who violated those principles or should the entire community be held responsible? Use ethical principles or theories to answer this question.

Solution Preview

Instead of the response attached that has outdated websites, please see updated version below. I hope this helps and take care.

UPDATED August 7, 2010:

1. Lobbying is defined as "the act of trying to directly shape or influence a government official's understanding and position on a public policy issue." (Post, Business and Society 7th ed.) What is the difference between lobbying and bribery?

Lobbying is considered legal, whereas bribery is not. It seems to be a matter of intent (the intent of lobbying is considered to be in the best interest of society and thus, considered ethical and legal), whereas bribery involves intent to gain an illicit advantage.

Let's look at some definitions of bribery:

- The practice of offering something (usually money) in order to gain an illicit advantage
(wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn)

- Bribery is the practice of offering professional money or other favors in order to circumvent ethics in a variety of professions. It is a form of corruption and is generally illegal, or at least cause for penalties from professional organisations.
(en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bribery)

- Offering or promising anything of value with intent to unlawfully influence a public official, bank employee, officer or employee of the Government, witness, or any common carrier as well as soliciting or accepting such an offer. Soliciting or receiving anything of value in consideration of aiding a person to obtain employment in the US Government. Receiving or soliciting any remuneration, directly or indirectly, in cash or in kind in return for purchasing, ordering, leasing, or recommending to purchase any good, service, or facility.
(www.albany.edu/sourcebook/app11.html)

One article "The Development of International Bribery Law" addresses the historical development of the concept bribery, including the moral and ethical issues and presents many legal cases as well (see (http://www.timmartin.ca/fileadmin/user_upload/pdfs/Devpt_of_Int_Bribery_Law.pdf).

Given the extensive and lavishness the gift giving, however, an inquiry into the reasonableness and propriety of these ...

Solution Summary

This solution explains the difference between lobbying and bribery, and whether bribery should be considered unethical or illegal. Information and links are provided for addressing the questions on the related topic e.g. ethical theories, bribery and remedies for bribery, etc. Last updated August 7, 2010. This solution is 1,182 words.

$2.19