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Governments need to heed call for action over bribery

August 2013

More than half the 114,000 people in 107 countries interviewed in a Transparency International survey believed corruption had spread during the past two years.

At the same time participants were convinced they could make a difference, and about 90% said they would act against graft.

The interviewers for Transparency International’s Global Corruption Barometer 2013, the world’s largest public opinion survey on corruption, found 27% of respondents had paid bribes when accessing public services and institutions in the past 12 months.

By contrast, two-thirds of those asked for bribe money had refused.

The extent of the corruption was reflected in findings that in many countries the institutions that should fight crime are not trusted.

Citizens in 36 countries viewed the police as the most corrupt institution, and in those countries 53% of people had been asked by the police for bribes.

People in 20 countries considered the judiciary was the most corrupt institution, and 30% of those dealing with the judicial systems there had been asked for bribes.

In 51 countries political parties were seen as the most corrupt institutions, and 55% of respondents there thought their governments were run by special interests.

Huguette Labelle, chair of Transparency International, said: “Governments need to take this cry against corruption from their citizenry seriously and respond with concrete action to elevate transparency and accountability.

“Strong leadership is needed from the G20 governments in particular. In the 17 countries surveyed in the G20, 59% of respondents said their government is not doing a good job at fighting corruption.”

Transparency International recommended politicians to lead by example by publishing asset declarations for themselves and their families. The political parties and their candidates were asked to disclose the source of their money and reveal potential conflicts of interest.

Public reaction, said the report, suggested that businesses, civil society and governments should engage more with citizens to beat corruption.

Labelle said: “Governments need to make sure that there are strong, independent and well-resourced institutions to prevent and redress corruption.

Too many people are harmed when these core institutions and basic services are undermined by the scourge of corruption.”

Transparency International | Global | Corruption

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