KARACHI: More than one person in two thinks corruption has worsened in the last two years, according to world’s largest public opinion survey on corruption from Transparency International, but survey participants also firmly believe they can make a difference and have the will to take action against graft.
The global corruption barometer 2013 is a survey of 114,000 people in 107 countries and it shows corruption is widespread. The 27 percent of respondents have paid bribe when accessing public services and institutions in the last 12 months, revealing no improvement from previous surveys.
Still, nearly nine out of 10 people surveyed said that they would act against corruption and two thirds of those who were asked to bribe had refused, suggesting that governments, civil society and the business sector need to do more to engage people in thwarting corruption.
“Bribe playing levels remain very high worldwide, but people believe they had the power to stop corruption and the number of those willing to combat the abuse of power, secret dealings and bribery is significant,” said Huguette Labelle, the chair of Transparency International.
The Global Corruption Barometer also found that in too many countries the institutions people rely on to fight corruption and the other crimes are themselves trusted. 36 countries view police as the most corrupt and in those countries an average of 53 percent people had been asked to pay a bribe to police.
20 countries view the judiciary as the most corrupt and in these countries and average of 30 percent of the people who came in contact with the judicial system had been asked to pay a bribe.
“Government need to take this cry against corruption from their citizenry seriously and respond with concrete action to elevate transparency and accountability,” Labelle said. Strong leadership is needed from G20 countries in particular. In 17 countries surveyed in the G20, 59 percent of the respondents said that their government is not doing a good job at fighting corruption.”