“Corruption is the misuse of entrusted power for private gain or advantage.”

What is corruption?

In Switzerland, corruption is the term used to describe improper activities by persons in positions of trust – in the public sector, in the justice system, in politics, in national and/or international companies, or in non-profit organisations (such as associations or foundations) – in order to obtain undue material or immaterial advantage.

Below are some examples of corruption:

  • Public sector:
    • - A federal authority awards a contract to a company directly, although the contract should have been put out to tender
    • - An employee of a public company accepts a generous gift from a private company. This is considered a bribe. The gift may also take the form of benefits, invitations, money or a new function or position.
  • Private sector:
    • - A Swiss company pays money to a foreign company to convince it to bring its product to market.

For companies with international business dealings, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) has compiled the most important information on how to avoid corruption.

On 25 November 2020, the Federal Council adopted The Federal Council’s Anti-Corruption Strategy 2021–24. The strategy defines a number of goals, from prevention and prosecution to international cooperation, and presents measures specifically directed at the Federal Administration, which it should implement.  

How do I report suspected corruption?

Last modification 14.03.2023

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