Global Corruption Report Released
Transparency International has released the 2013 Global Corruption Barometer and it highlights the fact that the majority of people believe corruption has increased in their country in the past two years.
Transparency International surveyed 114,270 people in 107 countries. Most of Eastern Europe and the United States, United Kingdom and Australia were among 51 countries that identified political parties as most corrupt. Out of 12 institutions in the survey, police were ranked second. Globally, religious institutions are seen as the least corrupt.
One in four people (27 percent) reported paying a bribe in the last year to one or more of the following services: the education system, judicial system, medical and health services, police, registry and permit services, utilities, tax, and land services.
In the US 7 percent said they paid a bribe, while in Sierra Leone 84 percent said they had paid, the highest percentage worldwide. In the Balkans, 28 percent of Bosnians admitted to paying a bribe, Serbia reported 26 percent, Macedonia 17 percent, and Croatia 4 percent.
The reasons for paying bribes were to speed up transactions (40 percent), the only way to get a service (27 percent), as a gift or gratitude (21 percent), and to get a cheaper service (12 percent). Nearly two-thirds of respondents said they believe personal contacts and relationships help get things done in the public sector.
Globally, two in three (67 percent) people believe that ordinary people can make a difference in the fight against corruption. In Bosnia that number was 60 percent, while Serbia (34 percent) and Croatia (45 percent) were lower. In 2008, 31% of respondents said their government's efforts to fight corruption were effective. This year that figure fell to 22%.
Transparency International also recently released a report called Buying Influence: Money and Elections in the Balkans that assessed transparency in election campaign financing in 2011-2012 in Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia (FYR) and Serbia, and non-electoral political party financing in Albania in 2012.
The report stated that financial reports submitted by parties are largely inaccurate. In Croatia, for example, experts estimated that only 50-60 percent of the actual revenue in campaign budgets is included in reports. Though financial regulations exist, the enforcement power is negligible and implementation of punishment “is almost non-existent across the board,” according to the experts quoted in the report.