Perception of Corruption

Author: Nyman Gibson Miralis

Subject: Bribery and Corruption

Keywords: bribery, perception on corruption, prevalence of corruption, Transparency International and public sector corruption

 

Perception on Corruption

Corruption is the abuse of entrusted power for private gain. Bribery is one of the most common forms of corruption.

Recently, an Australian court stated that “bribery by its very nature tends to distort markets by giving a competitive advantage to the person who makes the most substantial bribe”.[1]  

It is considered as a serious offence that interferes with the efficient operation of the economy and undermines democratic societal values.

 

Public’s Perception of Corruption

Recently, the world’s largest up-to-date corruption survey was published by Transparency International [1]. The survey covered 119 countries, territories and regions around the world and gathered people’s experience and perceptions of corruption.

Australians’ perception on corruption showed that a high proportion of people, 80%,  believed that they can help reduce corruption in Australia, in comparison to the views held in other Asia Pacific countries.

Australia's perception on corruption

Data Source: Coralie Pring, ‘People and Corruption: Asia Pacific’ (Global Corruption Barometer), Transparency International (2017).

 

The two dominant methods to make a difference identified by the participants in the Asia Pacific region* were to report the matter (22%) and to refuse to pay bribes (21%).

However, as to the reasons why incidences of corruption were not reported, participants in the Asia Pacific region identified fear of the consequences (36%).

 

Perception of the Public Sector

The general perception of the Asia Pacific region placed the police force as the most corrupt public sector group in the society at 39%.

The other public sector groups scored in a similar fashion with high percentages across the field.

Data Source: Coralie Pring, ‘People and Corruption: Asia Pacific’ (Global Corruption Barometer), Transparency International (2017).

 

The overall result encompassing the entire 119 countries in the survey displayed a similar trend, the police force being seen as the most corrupt public sector group.

What does this mean? It may mean that the public has a doubtful view about the integrity of the overall justice system and the government. This is because corruption in the public sector groups that are directly involved in the justice system and law making positions are seen to pose a threat to the integrity of the system.

 

Personal Experience of Bribing

Do Australians feel the need to pay a bribe in using public services?

According to the survey, less than 5% of Australian participants had paid a bribe when they came into contact with a public service in the last 12 months prior to taking the survey [1]. Australia was part of a group of countries which scored the lowest of the spectrum.

On the other end of the spectrum, 75% of Yemen participants stated that they had paid a bribe when they came into contact with a public service in the last 12 months to taking the survey.

The below table is an extracted data from the report relating to the participants’ personal experience in a number of countries.

Clearly, Australia displayed relatively less serious results compared to other States.

This result alone  would be insufficient to support the claim that the prevalence of bribery offences in Australia is low. However, it is a good indication that the general public’s perception of the level of corruption in Australia is low.

 

Nyman Gibson Miralis are experts in foreign bribery matters that involve multiple jurisdictional investigations. If you require assistance, contact one of our expert criminal defence lawyers

 

* Australia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, South Korea, Hong Kong, India, Cambodia, Pakistan, Japan, Taiwan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

[References]

[1] R v Jousif; R v I Elomar; R v M Elomar [2017] NSWSC 1299.

[2] Coralie Pring, ‘People and Corruption: Citizens’ Voices from around the World’, Transparency International (2017);

[3] Coralie Pring, ‘People and Corruption: Citizens’ Voices from around the World’, Transparency International (2017) p. 8.