Transparency: Russia, China Most Likely to Pay Bribes

Posted November 1st, 2011 at 9:40 pm (UTC-5)
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An international survey shows that Russian and Chinese firms are the most likely to pay bribes while operating abroad.

Berlin-based organization Transparency International issued its latest Bribe Payers’ Index Wednesday. It says Russia is at the bottom of the list of 28 countries prone to paying bribes, while China ranks 27th. The organization that monitors corruption worldwide says the most corrupt sectors are public works contracts and construction.

The Netherlands and Switzerland share the top spot on the list with Belgium, Germany and Japan following closely behind. The United States took 10th place.

The anti-corruption campaigners said not one of the 28 countries surveyed, which include all of the G20 nations, was perceived as completely bribery-free. They also noted that there has been little improvement since the last Bribe payers’ Index, published in 2008.

Transparency urged countries to ratify conventions against bribery under the auspices of the United Nations, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the European Union.

The group said corruption in public works contracts and construction often compromised safety in public buildings. It said this has a very real impact on human lives as demonstrated by the many deaths from earthquakes in highly corrupt countries.

Transparency said it was surprised that the likelihood of bribes being paid from one private firm to another is almost as high as bribery of public officials across all sectors. It said bribery can also be disguised through offering clients gifts and corporate hospitality that are inappropriate in value.