Corruption Worsens Amid Deep Distrust of Government
More than one in four people across the globe paid a bribe in the last 12 months when interacting with key public institutions and services, with the police and the judiciary seen as the two most bribery prone, according to a new report released on Tuesday.
The largest-ever global survey on corruption by Transparency International, which surveyed more than 114,000 respondents in 107 countries, found that over half the respondents said corruption had worsened over the last two years.
The survey comes at a time of increased public anger against the perceived corruption and self-interest of governments, from Brazil to Egypt and Turkey. It revealed a deep distrust of political leaders. In 51 countries around the world political parties were seen as the most corrupt institution and 55 percent of respondents thought government was run by special interests.
"Around the world, political parties, the driving force of democracies, are perceived to be the most corrupt institution," the report said.
Before the financial crisis began in 2008, 31 percent of people said their government's efforts to fight corruption were effective. This year, only 22 percent thought government responses were adequate. Transparency International chief Huguette Labelle said politicians needed "to take this cry against corruption from their citizenry seriously."
(Read More: Half of All Employees Think Corruption Is OK: Report)
"Strong leadership is needed from the G20 governments in particular. In the 17 countries surveyed in the G20, 59 percent of respondents said their government is not doing a good job at fighting corruption," she said.
Twenty seven percent of respondents said they had paid a bribe when accessing public services and institutions in the last 12 months, revealing no improvement from previous surveys.
Despite the frequency of encounters with corruption, almost 9 out of 10 people surveyed said they would act against corruption and two-thirds of those who were asked to pay a bribe had refused, the survey found.
"Bribe paying levels remain very high worldwide, but people believe they have the power to stop corruption and the number of those willing to combat the abuse of power, secret dealings and bribery is significant," Labelle said.
Problematically, the survey revealed that many people did not trust the institutions meant to fight corruption. In 36 countries, the police was seen as the most corrupt institution and in those countries an average of 53 percent of people had been asked to pay a bribe to the police.
Meanwhile, 20 countries saw the judiciary as the most corrupt institution, and in those countries an average of 30 percent of the people who had come in contact with the judicial systems had been asked to pay a bribe.
- By CNBC's Holly Ellyatt, follow her on Twitter @HollyEllyatt