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Global Corruption Barometer 2013

Transparency International’s 2013 Global Corruption Barometer was released today. The Barometer is the world’s largest public opinion survey on corruption. The 2013 edition surveyed 114,000 people in 107 countries and asked for people’s views on corruption in their country, and in which institutions the problem of corruption is most severe.

The survey’s global findings are sobering:

  • More than one in two people thinks corruption in their country has worsened in the last two years.
  • 54 per cent of people surveyed believe their governments’ efforts to fight corruption are ineffective.
  • 27 percent of respondents have paid a bribe when accessing public services and institutions in the last 12 months, revealing no improvement from previous surveys.
  • In 51 countries around the world, political parties are seen as the most corrupt institutions.
  • In 36 countries, people view the police most corrupt, in 20 countries they view the judiciary as most corrupt.
  • 54 percent of respondents think that the government in their country is run by special interests.

These results indicate a general lack of confidence in the institutions tasked to fight corruption.

The results for the U.S. are equally important:

  • 60 percent of people surveyed in the U.S. believe corruption has increased over the past 2 years.
  • 59 per cent of those surveyed think that the U.S. Government’s efforts to fight corruption are ineffective.
  • 76 percent of people surveyed view political parties as corrupt or extremely corrupt and 61percent share the same view of the legislature.
  • 64 percent of the people surveyed believe the U.S. Government is run by a few large interests that are acting in their own self-interest.

The Barometer shows both global and U.S. concerns regarding corruption and transparency in government institutions and political culture. U.S. results may be attributable to the U.S. Congress’ low public approval rating, the lack of transparency in campaign financing, and a series of high-profile corruption cases in the news.

However there is some positive news. Globally and in the U.S., nearly 9 out of 10 people surveyed indicated a willingness to get involved in the fight against corruption. In spite of this encouraging result, significant work remains to be done to mobilize this willingness into momentum for change.

TI’s 2013 Global Corruption Barometer is here.


Shruti Shah is a contributing editor of the FCPA Blog. She’s a Senior Policy Director at Transparency International-USA, responsible for the promotion of TI-USA’s anti-corruption law and regulation policy agenda.

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