How accurate is the global corruption barometer

Global corruption barometer turns out to be wrong : Every fourth person pays bribes

Almost exactly 20 years after the founding of the anti-corruption organization Transparency International (TI), bribery remains an everyday nuisance in many countries. Of more than 114,000 respondents in 107 countries, 27 percent of the global corruption barometer indicated that they had paid a bribe in the past twelve months. Transparency commissioned the global network of opinion pollers WIN / GIA between September 2012 and March 2013 to find out what the state of corruption is.

The result is alarming, says TI boss Huguette Labelle. She finds it particularly worrying that in most countries the most important institutions of democracy - parties, administrations, police and judiciary - are viewed as particularly corrupt. In 36 countries, citizens have the least confidence in the police. 53 percent of those questioned were asked by their respective police to pay bribes. In almost all countries, the political parties scored the worst. They are considered corrupt almost everywhere.

It is interesting that when it comes to everyday corruption, i.e. the bribes that are demanded from citizens in order to get the state services they are entitled to, several countries landed in the middle field, although they are considered very corrupt: In Nigeria, "only" 44 percent and in Afghanistan “only” 46 percent of those questioned bribed someone in the past twelve months. In Kenya, on the other hand, it was 70 percent. And in Liberia even 75 percent, although its president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has a good reputation with donor countries. Worst of all is Sierra Leone, where 84 percent of respondents paid bribes.

It is no surprise that many African countries are doing poorly. But the respondents also see major problems in the industrialized countries. When asked whether their respective government is driven by “big interests”, only five percent of Norwegians answer yes, although Norwegian wealth is almost entirely due to the oil produced by the state-owned Statoil. But 54 percent of the Germans surveyed see the government dominated by particular interests, in Israel the figure is as high as 73 percent and in Greece 83 percent.

In Germany, the political parties do particularly badly. However, the private sector is only slightly ahead of the parties. Trust in public administration and parliament is roughly the same, but the media in Germany are even worse off. Non-governmental organizations are also rated more critically in Germany than in most other countries. The chairman of the German TI section, Edda Müller, says: “The critical reporting by the media plays an important role in the fight against corruption. It is therefore an alarming sign when the population's trust in the media seems to decline. ”Müller calls for a discussion on“ how the independence and quality of the media can be guaranteed in the long term ”. TI managing director Christian Humborg points out that the new fee regulation for the public broadcasters is perceived critically by the population. In addition, corruption scandals have been reported there several times. There have also been reports of "misappropriated donations" from some non-governmental organizations, which is why trust in these associations has declined. Humborg would like more transparency from the media and an internal code of conduct. TI Germany has been calling for transparency rules for larger clubs for a long time.

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