Majority of public believes high-level corruption is common in Georgia
A large part of the population of Georgia believes that high-level corruption – cases of corruption involving high-ranking officials – is common in the country. At the same time, the population seldom encounters petty corruption in their daily life.
Such are the results of a telephone-based public opinion survey that was commissioned by TI Georgia and conducted by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC) in the period from July 9 to July 18, 2021. The organization surveyed 1,228 people across the country as part of the poll. The average margin of error is 2.67%.
Such public opinion surveys are commissioned by TI Georgia every year, which makes it possible to make a comparison. However, due to the fact that this year’s survey was conducted through telephone interviews rather than in a face-to-face format, we consider it unhelpful to compare the results of 2021 with those of the previous years. For example, in this year’s survey, the share of the response “Don’t know/Refused to answer” has increased considerably in all the questions asked, which may indicate that people avoid stating their opinion directly through telephone.
It is noteworthy that the respondents’ responses don’t show significant differences according to sex, age, and type of settlement. This indicates that the population of the entire country has a more or less equal perception of the existence of high-level corruption.
According to the survey, only 1% of the respondents or their family members have been asked to pay a bribe in return for public service during the past 12 months.
Complex forms of corruption
At the same time, citizens think that other manifestations of corruption are common in Georgia. Fifty-six percent of those surveyed think that it is common or very common for public officials to abuse their position. Only 18% think that such violations are not common, while 25% refrain from giving an answer.
The majority of those surveyed (51%) also think that it is common or very common to give preference to companies associated with public officials in the process of public procurement. Only 12% think that such violations are not common. More than a third of the respondents (37%) refrain from giving an answer.
Response to cases of corruption
Forty-six percent of those surveyed think that cases of corruption are not investigated properly when they involve high-ranking officials or influential people connected with the ruling party. Only 17% think that they are investigated properly. More than a third of the respondents (37%) refrain from giving an answer.
Thirty-four percent of those surveyed agree with the statement that the government, in general, protects persons engaged in corruption, while 19% think that the government, in general, exposes such persons. The rest of the respondents (47%) refrain from giving an unequivocal answer.
The public’s trust towards various institutions
As part of the public opinion survey, we also asked questions about the trust towards various institutions.
The Church and religious institutions enjoy the highest trust (63%). More than half of those surveyed also trust teachers (61%) and doctors (54%). The police (43%) and local government (39%) enjoy a relatively high level of trust.
The Parliament of Georgia (42%), the Central Election Commission (41%), and the President of Georgia (40%) were the institutions with the highest level of distrust.