Skip to content

Corruption in the Time of COVID-19

Corruption in the Time of COVID-19 Background Decorative Image

While GDP and worldwide economies shrink under the continuing impact of COVID-19, government budgets have expanded to support healthcare responses to the pandemic and social-welfare in response to growing unemployment and breakdowns in supply chains. With each passing day, as available resources reduce, the need to prevent public and private corruption, fraud, and conflict become mission critical. The complexity of the crisis, amid a need to act fast, poses a unique challenge for governments struggling to respond on all fronts. Crisis is often the argument to support bad decisions, overlooking compliance, and doing little for enforcement. Public procurement, in the absence of competitive tenders, creates opportunities for the unscrupulous. Lack of basic due-diligence checks creates opportunities for corruption to reach unknown proportion.

Video Image

The Panel discussed the nexus between the current scarcity of private funds, increased availability of public funds, and corruption. They shared their observations and concerns about the risks of increased corruption worldwide amid the pandemic from U.S., German, Brazilian, Indian, and Italian perspectives.

The Panel also considered: (1) what measures corporations and private entities may implement to prevent and reduce their exposure to corruption; (2) government measures to effectively control and limit corruption and fraud; and (3) what visibility or transparency exists in the abbreviated process of bringing a COVID-19 vaccine to market and who stands to profit.


Palmina M. Fava, Partner, Vinson & Elkins LLP
Dr. Alexander Cappel, Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP
Carlos Ayres, Partner, Maeda, Ayres & Sarubbi
Francesca Petronio, Partner, Delfino Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
Sajai Singh, Partner, J. Sagar Associates

This presentation was recorded and current as of September 16, 2020. Content viewed after this date may no longer be current.

This information is provided by Vinson & Elkins LLP for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended, nor should it be construed, as legal advice.