Addressing Corruption Risks in the Construction Industry


and its Projects



By Bob Prieto

Chairman & CEO
Strategic Program Management LLC

Jupiter, Florida, USA

This paper is focused on raising awareness and reinforcing attention to what may be one of the most corrosive factors impacting the construction industry. Corruption has been recognized as a significant concern and recurring practice throughout the industry globally and the industry has done much to raise awareness and increase focus on eliminating these practices.

Often ranked as one of the top two industries for corruption, together with the extractive industries, much remains to be done. Importantly this is not just an owner or contractor side issue but rather a much broader problem.

In this paper we will:

  • define corruption
  • assess where the US is currently perceived to stand
  • discuss how bad corruption is today
  • look at some of the factors which make construction prone to corruption as well as motivating and facilitating factors
  • look at company level efforts important in addressing the risk of corruption

Definition of Corruption

Transparency International defines corruption as the abuse of entrusted power for private gain. Corruption includes bribery, extortion, fraud, cartels, abuse of power, embezzlement, and money laundering. Increased digital technology use both supports corrupt endeavors as well as providing new tools, such as artificial intelligence, to discover and manage it.

While much attention is focused on public entities, corruption also exists in private entities. Table 1 is an extract from Transparency Internationals 2020 Corruption Perception Index highlighting the figures for the United States.

Taxonomy of corruption

Corruption is often divided into two categories:

  • petty corruption
  • grand corruption, including political corruption

A taxonomy of corruption is provided in Table 2


To read entire paper, click here

How to cite this paper: Prieto, R. (2022). Addressing Corruption Risks in the Construction Industry and its Projects, PM World Journal, Vol. XI, Issue II, February. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/pnwj114-Feb2022-Prieto-Addressing-Corruption-Risks-in-the-Construction-Industry-featured-paper.pdf

About the Author

Bob Prieto

Chairman & CEO
Strategic Program Management LLC
Jupiter, Florida, USA


Bob Prieto is a senior executive effective in shaping and executing business strategy and a recognized leader within the infrastructure, engineering, and construction industries. Currently Bob heads his own management consulting practice, Strategic Program Management LLC. He previously served as a senior vice president of Fluor, one of the largest engineering and construction companies in the world. He focuses on the development and delivery of large, complex projects worldwide and consults with owners across all market sectors in the development of programmatic delivery strategies. He is author of nine books including “Strategic Program Management”, “The Giga Factor: Program Management in the Engineering and Construction Industry”, “Application of Life Cycle Analysis in the Capital Assets Industry”, “Capital Efficiency: Pull All the Levers” and, most recently, “Theory of Management of Large Complex Projects” published by the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) as well as over 800 other papers and presentations.

Bob is an Independent Member of the Shareholder Committee of Mott MacDonald and a member of the board of Dar al Riyadh. He is a member of the ASCE Industry Leaders Council, National Academy of Construction, a Fellow of the Construction Management Association of America and member of several university departmental and campus advisory boards. Bob served until 2006 as a U.S. presidential appointee to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Advisory Council (ABAC), working with U.S. and Asia-Pacific business leaders to shape the framework for trade and economic growth. He is a member of the Millennium Challenge Corporation advisory board where he had previously served. He had previously served as both as Chairman of the Engineering and Construction Governors of the World Economic Forum and co-chair of the infrastructure task force formed after September 11th by the New York City Chamber of Commerce. Previously, he served as Chairman at Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) and a non-executive director of Cardno (ASX).

Bob serves as an honorary global advisor for the PM World Journal and Library and can be contacted at rpstrategic@comcast.net.

To view other works by Bob Prieto, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/bob-prieto/