Corruption perceptions among citizens remain unchanged, new survey finds

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times October 30, 2019 19:26

Corruption perceptions among citizens remain unchanged, new survey finds

Story Highlights

  • “The groups perceived as most corrupt by the public continue to be judges, prosecutors, customs and tax officials, justice administration officials, political parties and their leaders. This rank remains the same
  • so there is no restoration of public confidence in these institutions, although the announced reform is expected to bear fruit, ”said Zef Preci, one of the study's authors.

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TIRANA, Oct. 30 – Tirana’s Center for Economic Research again measured public perception of corruption for 2019, finding that 44.8 percent of citizens surveyed admitted to having been pressured and asked for a bribe by public officials to resolve a legal problem. 

Likewise, the scale and ranking of the most corrupt institutions has remained the same as the previous measurement of public perception of corruption.

According to the most recent study, the public sees teachers, journalists and doctors as the least corrupt groups, while the indicators and rankings of corruption for officials have remained almost unchanged since 2016, and there is only a slight improvement on this point.

“The groups perceived as most corrupt by the public continue to be judges, prosecutors,

customs and tax officials, justice administration officials, political parties and their leaders. This rank remains the same; so there is no restoration of public confidence in these institutions, although the announced reform is expected to bear fruit, ”said Zef Preci, one of the study’s authors.

The study found that nearly half of the citizens surveyed said the administration had pressured them into bribes in exchange for public services.

Half of the respondents also stated that they have bribed public services, so the resistance to corruption pressure is minimal.

Nearly half of the citizens surveyed said they were ready to make the same corrupt pressures if they were to exchange seats with the public official.

Only 4 percent state that they would never be involved in a corruption affair, but over 20 percent of respondents still have hope in eradicating corruption.

“There are more than 1/5, or 22 percent of those interviewed, who confidently state that corruption can be eradicated. This is an indication compared to previous measurements and gives hope that the implementation of justice reform, as strongly supported by the US and EU, is a good opportunity to punish this phenomenon,” said Preci.

The study also notes that petty corruption with gifts in hand has given way to high and sophisticated corruption in the maze of incomprehensible contracts and secret deals.

“It remains to be seen whether the special prosecution and the special court will be established to move the status quo from campaigns of words to campaigns of deeds. This is something the government cannot be solely accountable for. The government demonstrates political will, but it remains to be seen to what extent those institutions will fulfill their functions. The beginning of the functioning of these institutions marks the beginning of the end of impunity, but it also marks the beginning of the separation of powers, for which our country suffers a lot, especially during the last decade,” said Preci.

The study on the perception of corruption by public opinion is the fifth measurement since 2001 on three main elements: administration pressure on citizens for corruption, perpetration of corruption in accessing public services and the degree of trust that the public can have if corruption can be eradicated.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times October 30, 2019 19:26