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25% of Jordanians see graft as 'dangerous problem'

By JT - May 03,2016 - Last updated at May 03,2016

AMMAN — Twenty-five per cent of Jordanians believe that corruption is a dangerous problem the government must solve, coming in the fourth place after poverty, unemployment and low wages, according to a Jordanian Integrity and Transparency Coalition “Rasheed” statement released on Tuesday. 

Rasheed announced Jordan's results in the Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) launched by Transparency International, a survey that includes public opinion's experiences and awareness of corruption in nine Arab countries, which are Jordan, Egypt, Palestine, Morocco, Tunisia, Yemen, Lebanon, Algeria and Sudan.

Transparency International conducts the survey every two years in several countries around the world through specialised centres and companies.

Jordan's GCB survey was conducted by the Centre for Strategic Studies at the University of Jordan in the period between November 23 and December 4, 2014, with a sample of 1,199 individuals.

The results revealed that 67 per cent of the sample viewed low wages as the most important issue facing the Kingdom and requiring the intervention of the government, while 55 per cent thought the main issue is unemployment and 31 per cent viewed the most urgent issue as poverty. 

The three were followed immediately by corruption. 

Sixty-one per cent of the sample expressed dissatisfaction over the government's performance in combating corruption in the public sector and 56 per cent in the private sector.

Moreover, 34 per cent of the polled individuals said the government's efforts in combating corruption in the public sector are effective compared to 30 per cent of those who thought the same in regard to the private sector. 

As for the level of corruption, 75 per cent thought it increased to some extent or a lot in 2014, 12 per cent believed it remained the same and 12 per cent said that corruption decreased. 

Three per cent of the sample stated that they bribed an employee to receive a public service during the past 12 months of the survey period. 

As for reporting corrupt acts, 66 per cent of the sample believed that an ordinary citizen could make a difference in combating corruption if given the chance, in different ways.

Some 40 per cent believed that the most significant way to combat corruption is reporting acts that they saw themselves, 19 per cent believed it is not paying bribes, whereas 12 per cent voiced readiness to sign petitions that demand facing corruption and supporting the efforts of organisations combating.

Moreover, 21 per cent of the sample thought that an ordinary citizen has no role in combating corruption whatsoever, according to the statement. 

Those who believed that reporting corrupt acts is a duty amounted to 70 per cent of the sample, while 60 per cent voiced readiness to testify in court about acts of corruption they witnessed, while 33 per cent said they are not willing to do that. 

Fifty-five per cent of the surveyed sample said the cause behind not reporting corruption lies in fear of repercussions, while 22 per cent said it is the loss of faith that those involved in corruption will be prosecuted.

Based on the results of the survey, Rasheed recommended amending the Penal Code to clearly condemn wasta using personal connections to obtain favours or posts clearly defining it and detailing a proper punishment.

 

Recommendations also included committing all officials in the government and the public sector to provide financial disclosures and makes sure they are available to the public, as well as amending laws that limit the freedom of journalism, civil society and individuals.

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