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Perceptions of corruption in Ireland

The European Commission this month published the Eurobarometer Report on ‘Attitudes of Europeans towards Corruption’ which presents the findings of a European wide survey on perceptions of corruption. The report found that 86% of Irish people surveyed think that corruption is a major problem within Ireland and 70% think that government’s efforts to combat corruption are not effective. These findings highlight the need for increased anti-corruption strategy and action saysJohn Devitt, CEO of Transparency Ireland:

 “One of the reasons why people in Ireland continue to think corruption is a major problem is because the ongoing financial crisis has had a deep impact on their lives.  It is evident from the last decade that successive governments haven’t done enough to prevent, detect and prosecute corruption. This survey’s findings reflect the public’s overwhelming frustration over the government’s failure to fight corruption and white collar crime in particular. For example, we still have seen no prosecutions from the current investigations into Anglo Irish Bank and the last Garda annual policing plan did not even mention white collar crime. The government needs to prioritise the fight against corruption and to resource and equip our law enforcement agencies to tackle it.”

Read the full report here and the Irish results here

 

Irish Survey Findings:

86% of respondents think that corruption is a major problem in Ireland (up 1% from 2009).

Institutional Corruption

84% of respondents think that corruption exists in our national institutions (down 3% from 2009).

80% of respondents think that corruption exists in our local institutions (down 3% from 2009).

79% of respondents think that corruption exists in our regional institutions (down 3% from 2009).

44% of respondents think that corruption is more widespread in our country than other EU member states (30% disagree and 26% don’t know).

60% of respondents think there is corruption within the institutions of the EU (down 3% from 2009)

 

Corruption in Politics

65% of respondents think that there is not sufficient transparency and supervision of the financing of political parties.

44% of respondents think that there are too close links between business and politics.

65% think that the giving and taking of bribes, and the abuse of positions of power for personal gain, are widespread amongst politicians at a national level (down 6% from 2009).

54% think that the giving and taking of bribes, and the abuse of positions of power for personal gain, are widespread amongst politicians at a regional level (down 4% from 2009).

49% think that the giving and taking of bribes, and the abuse of positions of power for personal gain, are widespread amongst politicians at a local level (down 4% from 2009).

 

Corruption in law enforcement / the judicial system

31% think that the giving and taking of bribes, and the abuse of positions of power for personal gain, are widespread amongst people working in the police services (down 7% from 2009).

19% think that the giving and taking of bribes, and the abuse of positions of power for personal gain, are widespread amongst people working in the customs services (down 7% from 2009).

21% think that the giving and taking of bribes, and the abuse of positions of power for personal gain, are widespread amongst people working in the judicial service (down 8% from 2009).

22% of respondents think that the law is often not applied by the authorities in charge.

 

Corruption in the public sector

33% of respondents think that public money is not spent in a transparent manner.

26% of respondents think that many appointments in the public administration are not based on merit or qualification.

50% think that the giving and taking of bribes, and the abuse of positions of power for personal gain, are widespread amongst officials issuing building permits (down 6% from 2009).

47% think that the giving and taking of bribes, and the abuse of positions of power for personal gain, are widespread amongst officials awarding public tenders (down 2% from 2009).

39% think that the giving and taking of bribes, and the abuse of positions of power for personal gain, are widespread amongst officials issuing business permits (down 5% from 2009).

15% think that the giving and taking of bribes, and the abuse of positions of power for personal gain, are widespread amongst people working in the public health sector (down 4% from 2009).

25% think that the giving and taking of bribes, and the abuse of positions of power for personal gain, are widespread amongst inspectors of health, construction, food quality,  food sanitary control and licensing (up 2% from 2009).

12% think that the giving and taking of bribes, and the abuse of positions of power for personal gain, are widespread amongst people working in the public education sector (down 2% from 2009).

               

Corruption in the private sector

80% of respondents agree corruption is part of the business culture in Ireland.

25% think that the giving and taking of bribes, and the abuse of positions of power for personal gain, are widespread amongst people working in the private sector.

 

Fighting Corruption

70% of respondents think that government efforts to combat corruption are not effective.

72% of respondents think that there are not enough successful prosecutions in Ireland to deter people from giving or receiving bribes.

76% of respondents think that court sentences for corruption are too short.

32% of respondents think that there is no real punishment for corruption.

                Who is responsible for fighting corruption?

77% of respondents think that fighting corruption is the responsibility of the national government.

68% of respondents think that fighting corruption is the responsibility of the police.

54% of respondents think that fighting corruption is the responsibility of the judicial system (prosecution services and the courts).

40% of respondents think that fighting corruption is the responsibility of the citizens themselves.

27% of respondents think that fighting corruption is the responsibility of the European Union institutions.

16% of respondents think that fighting corruption is the responsibility of NGOs and other associations.

47% of respondents think that the EU does not help in reducing corruption (22% think that it does, down 5% from 2009).

61% of respondents would trust the police most to provide a solution if they were a victim of corruption (up 17% from 2009 %), 27% would trust the judicial system most, 22% the ombudsman, 8% a political representative and 6% a NGO.