Jun 04 2009
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Kuwait corruption levels on the rise
In a telephone interview with the Kuwait Times yesterday, Kamhawi said, "When surveyed, results showed that Kuwait was most unhappy with its civil servants and public officials." She also noted that the survey results on Kuwait indicated the majority of the 801 polled were satisfied with the judicial system.
TI conducted public opinion surveys in 69 countries, polling 73,132 people between October 2008 and February 2009. Kuwait was part of the countries surveyed for the Middle East and North Africa regions in the 2009 Global Corruption Barometer. Other countries included Iraq, Lebanon and Morocco. The survey explored the personal views about corruption and experiences with bribery in the public and private sectors. According to the survey results, four in ten respondents claimed bribe payments in the last 12 months. The Middle East and North Africa recorded the worst results by region.
People surveyed were asked to assess the degree to which they believed public services were corrupt. They were asked to assess the government's efforts to combat corruption. In Kuwait, it is perceived that public officials and civil servants were the most affected by corruption. On a scale from 1 to 5, where 1 means not at all corrupted and 5 being extremely corrupted, Kuwait rated public officials and civil servants the highest with a score of 3.4. Political parties were rated 2.3 whereas businesses and private sectors received 3.0 and the media scored an average of 2.4.
The judiciary system, however, received the lowest score of all. Respondents graded the Kuwaiti judiciary system with a 1.7 on a scale of five and 1.8 for the parliamentary and legislature; believing that these sectors were the least corrupted in Kuwait.
Generally, figures show a correlation between the public perception of corruption and that of the experts. However, this is not the case for Kuwait, where it was found that people believed that corruption was less prevalent than what experts viewed it to be.
Respondents in Kuwait believed that corruption was high in certain areas in Kuwait. They also believed that enough was being done to combat it. When asked to assess the current government's actions in combating corruption, some 68 percent believed that the methods used were effective.
For the first time since the launch of the survey six years ago, people were asked about their willingness to pay a premium for "clean, corporate behavior." The findings showed that "three in five people surveyed were willing to pay more for a corruption-free product," said Kamhawi. Comparing the results on a regional level, the least corrupt country was Qatar, followed by the UAE and then Oman, explained Kamhawi. She concluded, "The most corrupt country in the region is Iraq.
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