Survey: Corruption getting worse globally

More than a quarter of respondents said they paid a bribe over the last 12 months


According to a recent survey conducted by Transparency International, more than 53 percent of people believe that corruption has worsened in the past two years. In fact, the "Global Corruption Barometer 2013," a survey of 114,000 in 107 countries, found that 27 percent of respondents had paid a bribe when accessing pubic services and institutions over the last 12 months.

Despite this, nearly nine out of 10 survey respondents said that they would act against corruption and two-thirds said that they had refused to pay a bribe when asked.

"Bribe paying levels remain very high worldwide, but people believe they have the power to stop corruption and the number of those willing to combat the abuse of power, secret dealings and bribery is significant," said Huguette Labelle, the chair of Transparency International.

One potential problem, however, is that many of the institutions that are supposed to hold those guilty of corruption responsible are not trusted by the people.

According to the survey, 36 countries view police as being the most corrupt and within those countries, 53 percent of respondents reported being asked to pay a bribe by police. In addition, 20 countries also said they view the judiciary system in their nation as being the most corrupt, with an average of 30 percent of people saying they had come into contact with judicial systems that asked them to pay a bribe.

"Governments need to take this cry against corruption from their citizenry seriously and respond with concrete action to elevate transparency and accountability," Labelle added. "Strong leadership is needed from the G20 governments in particular. In the 17 countries surveyed in the G20, 59 percent of respondents said their government is not doing a good job at fighting corruption."

People's appraisals of their leaders' efforts to stop corruption have also fallen. When the financial crisis began in 2008, 31 percent of respondents said they felt their government’s efforts to fight corruption were effective, compared to just 22 percent of respondents this year.

"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," said Labelle.