Thu, Jun 01, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Legislators voted second-most corrupt

DISHONEST A survey conducted by Transparency International last year showed that the public has no faith in the government's ability to fight corruption

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The nation's lawmakers rank second to last in terms of integrity, according to the results of a poll made public by the Ministry of Justice.

The ministry released the findings of a survey conducted by the Taiwan chapter of international non-governmental organization Transparency International on Tuesday. The survey indicated that the public does not hold elected officials in high esteem.

The poll, which was conducted last year, found that among public officials, only those in charge of supervising the removal of sand from rivers and river banks were perceived to be more dishonest than lawmakers. Officials in charge of government procurement or construction projects were ranked third to last in terms of integrity.

City and county councilors were ranked fourth to last, and township councilors and township officials were ranked fifth to last and sixth to last, according to the poll.

Officials working in public hospitals were perceived to be the most honest, followed by general public sector workers.

A summary of the findings said that, "while 61 percent of respondents were unimpressed by the government's efforts to combat corruption in general, 54 percent were dissatisfied with the government's attempt to crackdown on bribery during elections."

The report also said that "69 percent of respondents believed that if public officials were unable to explain the origins of their property, they were likely obtained dishonestly."

The survey clearly indicated that the public was not satisfied the performance of government agencies charged with combating corruption. Some 68 percent of respondents were in favor of the formation of an independent agency to fight corruption.

Chen Chun-ming (陳俊明), the supervisor of the poll and a professor in the department of public policy and management at Shih Hsin University, said at the press conference that the results showed that the public was dissatisfied with the government's efforts to fight corruption.

Chen said the government would score even lower in this year's poll, given the string of serious scandals that have come to light recently.

Vice Minister of Justice Chu Nan (朱楠) said that the ministry would improve its performance.

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