A policeman who takes a small ‘donation’ and lets you pass through the check point unseen. House rents that go up overnight due to ‘government regulations’. University exam results that can be influenced by your wallet. Corruption is just around the corner. Take a walk along Corruption Avenue.
Transparency International has published its new Corruption Barometer today. The full report from the anti-corruption group, (available here), shows that political parties are seen to be the most corrupt institution, scoring 3.8 on a scale of one to five. Police are second, followed by the judiciary, parliament and public officials.
From the report: “It is the actors that are supposed to be running countries and upholding the rule of law that are seen as the most corrupt, judged to be abusing their positions of power and acting in their own interests rather than for the citizens they are there to represent and serve.”
Transparency says the report is based on the biggest-ever public opinion survey on corruption, covering 114,000 people in 107 countries. Political parties are perceived to be corrupt in almost half of these countries. “In 51 countries around the world, political parties were seen to be the most corrupt institution.
The most striking results were reported in Greece, Mexico and Nepal, where political parties scored 4.6 and, in Nigeria, 4.7… One of the big corruption risks for political parties is how they are funded. The interests of the people and organizations that fund political parties can have a large influence on the actions of these parties.”
Corruption is also closely linked to police. “In 36 countries, the police are seen as the most corrupt institution,” the report says. “An average of 53 per cent of people report having paid a bribe to the police. The integrity of the judiciary and the police service is inextricably linked.
Police, lawyers and prosecutors are all involved in cases before they even reach the court room. When these critical law enforcement agencies cannot be trusted to act with integrity, the fundamental principles of implementing the rule of law in a country are undermined and impunity reigns.”
How corrupt are the institutions in your country? Have you ever paid a bribe? Share your thoughts and experiences on our Facebook page.
Photo sources: Flickr: The City Project, teachandlearn, Facility Records MSU Physical Plant, Wikimedia: Drishti Shah, Agus ferrocarril.