NGO TI Georgia Says Corruption Remains a Challenge in Georgia

Arecent survey conducted by the non-governmental organization Transparency International (TI) Georgia reads that corruption still remains a problem in Georgia.

The survey reads that only 1% of respondents stated they were asked to pay a bribe in return for receiving public service in the past 12 months, which is an identical result to similar surveys conducted in previous years.

However, the NGO says respondents believe other forms of corruption are widespread, as 59% of respondents say abuse of power by public officials is common in Georgia, while 21% said that it is not common.

Meanwhile, 36% of respondents think abuse of power for personal gain by public officials is common, while 15% consider it uncommon.

In addition to this, 91% out of those respondents who think that such actions are common, believe they aim to employ own family members, friends and relatives.

Also, 86% of respondents think that abuse of power by public officials aims to protect own business or the businesses of their family members, friends and relatives. 79% think that its purpose is inappropriate spending, and 58%, a bribe-taking in exchange for various cases.

The survey revealed that 52% of respondents said companies affiliated with government officials enjoy privileges in the process of public procurements. 13% think such a practice does not exist.

51% of interviewees think that there is no proper investigation of corruption cases when they are dealing with high-ranking officials or influential people who have ties with the ruling party Georgian Dream (GD), while 42% consider the government, as a rule, covers up for people involved in corruption, and 31% think that the government discloses such cases.

Regarding employment in the public sector, 31% of respondents said one needs to have acquaintances to get hired in public service. 28% and 19% respondents respectively listed education and professionalism/work experience as main factors for recruitment.

The survey was commissioned by Transparency International Georgia and conducted by the Caucasus Research Resource Center (CRRC) from February 20 to March 5, 2019. With a total of 2,087 respondents being interviewed throughout the country, the representative survey has a margin of error of 2.3%.

To note, in Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2018, released by Transparency International in late January, Georgia leads Eastern Europe and Central Asia countries with its score of 58.

Georgia has advanced its score by two points since last year, taking 41st place among 180 countries.

In the ranking, 100 points indicate the lowest level of perceived corruption while 0 – the highest.

Georgia’s CPI scores during the recent years are: 2012 – 52 points, 2013 – 49, 2014 and 2015-52, in 2016 Georgia was placed 44th with a score of 57 and in 2017 – 56 points and 46th place.

By Thea Morrison

Image source: 112 international

15 April 2019 17:35