Judiciary ‘Most Corrupt’

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A survey conducted by the National Integrity Forum (NIF) shows that the Judicial Branch of government remains the ‘most corrupt’ institution in Liberia.

NIF is a consortium of integrity-based institutions across government, civil society and business community, established in 2009 to strengthen collective action to debate and synchronize plans, policies and laws that promote integrity in the country.

At the launch of the National Integrity Barometer Perception Report on Thursday, December 19th, in Monrovia, NIF disclosed that 38 percent agreed and 6.8 percent of those interviewed strongly agreed that they sometimes offered bribes to court personnel for cases taken to Court.

The report furthered that 37 percent agreed that they were often asked by judges or court personnel to pay extra money or gifts or do favours for cases taken to Court.

According to Dr. George S. Saydee, Advisor, Barometer Report Steering Committee, the report targeted a total of 1,400 household heads or representatives; respondents were selected with 5 percent error, using the sizes of household heads for seven counties from the 2008 National Population and Housing Census (NPHC).

Counties covered under the project included Grand Bassa, Lofa, Montserrado, Nimba, Grand Gedeh, Grand Kru and Grand Cape Mount.

Instruments used in this survey were developed as primary research tools for data collection based on experience and knowledge about integrity service delivery in the country. Health, education, judiciary, civil protection and the business sectors were the focus of this survey.

Relative to the health sector, the survey showed that 29 percent of respondents agreed and 11 percent strongly agreed that they sometimes paid extra or gave gifts or favour for services received at public health centres. However, the report added, “35 percent of respondents disagreed and 18 percent strongly disagreed to such practice.”

For the educational sector, NIF observed that 38 percent and 12 percent strongly agreed that school authorities sometimes asked students or parents for bribes in order to be register or enrolled in public school when in fact, public schools are subject to government’s free and compulsory education program.

NIF: “The data on sex for grades revealed that 24.6 percent of interviewers agreed and 8.5 percent strongly agreed that teachers sometimes asked for sex in exchange for grades. In addition, 40 percent disagreed and 11.1 percent strongly disagreed with such practice. Moreover, 11.4 percent and 4.3 percent of respondents said that such practice is not applicable and undecided respectively. Considering the sources of corruption in the public education sector, 14.6 percent agreed and 2.7 percent strongly agreed that people sometimes advance sexual offers in exchange for grades.”

The intent of said exercise, Dr. Saydee noted was to assess the public experience of corrupt practices in Liberia regarding service delivery in the areas under review.

Information on how service delivery in those sectors is being carried out would be used to make plans and policies for improving governance in Liberia.  

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