Transparency International Releases Results of 2009 Global Corruption Barometer

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• As in 2005 and 2007, the results of the Barometer name the judiciary as the least trusted democratic institution in Georgia
• 57% of Georgians who were surveyed provided a positive assessment of the Georgian government's general anti-corruption efforts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 3, 2009

Tbilisi, Georgia - Berlin-based Transparency International published the results today of the 2009 Global Corruption Barometer (GCB), reflecting the attitudes of 73,132 respondents 16 years and older from 69 countries around the world.

The Barometer aims to identify (a) how widespread corruption is in the following crucial domestic institutions: judiciary, media, parliament, political parties, civil service and private sector; (b) how respondents rate their governments in the fight against corruption; (c) how often citizens were asked to pay bribes when interacting with different public services; and (d) what the willingness of consumers is to pay a premium for clean corporate behavior.

GBC Georgia Results

Georgian citizens rank the judiciary as the most corrupt institution in Georgia. The judiciary topped the list of least trusted institutions in 2005 and 2007 GCBs as well. The 2009 results place Georgia fifth among the worst European and Central Asian countries in this respect, where only 14% of respondents say there is no corruption in the judiciary and 37% say it is vastly corrupt.

Other institutions were ranked as follows (from least trusted to most trusted): civil service (seen as vastly corrupt by 21% of the respondents), parliament (16%), political parties (12%), private sector (9%), and media (6%).

Despite the fact that Georgians have not changed their perception of the judiciary as the most corrupt institution since 2005, the 2009 Barometer provides a more positive assessment of the Georgian government's efforts to reduce corruption. In 2007 only 45% of respondents thought that the government’s actions were either very or somewhat effective, while in 2009 this number increased to 57%, ranking Georgia third after Holland and Macedonia among European and Central Asian countries.

The 2009 Barometer's two other indicators show only 2% of Georgians who were surveyed report having had to pay a bribe and 37% confirm their readiness to pay a premium to support transparent and ethical business practices.

To all the questions in the 2009 GCB, a fairly significant number of Georgians responded with either“don’t know” or “no answer”. In fact, Georgia topped the list in the region in terms of the frequency of these two answers.

“The significant decrease of bribe requests targeting Georgian citizens in recent years and public support for the anti-corruption measures which have been implemented deserve to be hailed,” said Tamuna Karosanidze, Executive Director of Transparency International Georgia. “However, a judiciary that lacks public confidence puts under substantial risk not only the sustainability of the anti corruption results achieved so far, but also the prospect of Georgia’s democratic transition. Reforming the judiciary must become a real priority of the Georgian state and whether or not it is successful should be assessed based on how people’s attitude change toward it.”

The 2009 Global Corruption Barometer was conducted in Georgia by Gallup International's partner in Georgia, GORBI, under the guidance of Transparency International. The field work was conducted between 29 January 2009 and 9 February 2009 using the face-to-face method. One thousand four hundred respondents were interviewed.

Transparency International Georgia

Transparency International Georgia (TI Georgia), a national chapter of Transparency International,was established on 7 May 2000 as a local non-governmental organization committed to combating corruption in Georgia through the promotion of transparency and accountability. Our mission is to serve as the primary source of information on corruption reform in Georgia, assist the Georgian Government and the broader public in facilitating reform in sectors where corruption exists, and build and strengthen institutions. To fulfill this mission, TI Georgia: establishes programmatic activities that target structural corruption in specific sectors; promotes access of local populations to information on existing problems and changes initiated to address these problems; encourages input on reform from local and international experts; assists the Government in drafting policy; and produces analysis and public policy recommendations on current activities and on future reform.

Transparency International Secretariat

Transparency International (TI) is the global civil society organization leading the fight against corruption. It brings together civil society, business, and governments in a powerful global coalition.TI, through its International Secretariat and more than 90 independent national chapters around the world, works to stem both the supply and demand of corruption at the local, national, and international levels. In the international arena, TI raises awareness about the damaging effects of corruption,advocates policy reform, works towards the implementation of multilateral conventions, and monitors compliance by governments, corporations, and banks. At the national level, chapters work to increase levels of accountability and transparency, monitoring the performance of key institutions and pressing for necessary reforms in a non-partisan manner.