Global Corruption: Getting Worse, Say Six Out Of Ten People

The global corruption barometer report from Transparency International is out. The overall trends are concerning for citizens, and for the health of transparency and accountability of governance. Globally, six out of 10 people say corruption has increased in the last three years; eight out of 10 people say political parties are corrupt; 29 percent of people reported paying bribes to police; one in four people reported paying bribes in the last year; and 50 percent of people say their governments’ anti-corruption efforts are ineffective.

The 2010 barometer on corruption from Transparency International is based on surveys conducted in 86 countries, and it represents the views of more than 91,500 people. This is, so far, the most comprehensive worldwide survey on corruption. According to the report, views on corruption were most negative in Western Europe and North America, where 73 percent and 67 percent of people, respectively, thought corruption had increased in the last three years.

Since last year, one in four people said they paid a bribe to various institutions and services ranging from tax authorities to health and education. Police authorities are singled out as being the most corrupt as the most frequent recipients of bribes. About 30 percent of the people surveyed reported having paid a bribe to the police in the last 12 months.

The survey also shows that poor people are twice likely to pay bribes for basic services such as health care and  education than wealthy people. The fact that eight out of ten people surveyed say that politicians and political parties illustrates that only a small minority trust their governments and politicians; and this should be extremely worry-some for world leaders.

The fall out of the financial crisis continues to affect people’s opinions of corruption, particularly in North America and Western Europe. Institutions everywhere must be resolute in their effort to restore good governance and trust. The message from the 2010 barometer is that corruption is insidious. It makes people lose faith Public engagement in the fight against corruption will force those in authority to act- and will give people further courage to speak out and stand up for a cleaner more transparent world,” said Huguette Labelle, Chair of Transparency International.

To download the complete 2010 Global Corruption Barometer report click here.

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