Survey assesses corruption levels among public officials

BIASES?:Officials working in the gravel industry, followed by legislators and judges, were seen as the most corrupt officials in a poll commissioned by the Ministry of Justice


Sun, Jan 03, 2010 - Page 2

Medical professionals at public-run hospitals are perceived as the least corrupt among 24 public employee categories in the country, a recent poll commissioned by the Ministry of Justice showed.

Medical professionals at ­public-run hospitals as a whole were given a score of 5.94 on a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 seen as the least corrupt, making them the cleanest civil servant group in Taiwan last year, the ministry said in a report based on its survey on public servant integrity.

Land administration office workers were seen as the second-least corrupt, with a score of 5.75, followed by general public functionaries, with a score of 5.72, said the poll, which the ministry commissioned local polling company Taiwan Real Survey Co to conduct.

Judicial officials, including prosecutors and judges, received scores of 5.27 and 5.15 respectively, making them the ninth and 10th cleanest groups.

The survey found that officials responsible for the gravel industry were seen as the most corrupt public employees, with a score of 3.75, followed by legislators, who received a score of 4.07.

Judicial Yuan officials said the results may reflect respondents’ biases.

Medical professionals at public hospitals enjoyed the top spot for integrity because doctors meet patients face-to-face and offer them medical advice, Judicial Yuan officials said.

Prosecutors and judges, meanwhile, may have received relatively lower scores because the media often reports controversial court cases, Judicial Yuan officials said.

Judicial Yuan President Lai In-jaw (賴英照) said the manner in which the questions were presented and how the respondents were selected could also have been factors that influenced the results.

“In any case, the Judicial Yuan will study the poll results and take them as a warning that the integrity of judicial officials needs to be improved,” Lai said.

The Taiwan Real Survey Co conducted the telephone survey on randomly selected adults around the country between June 25 and June 30.

The results were only released recently because they were compiled after a series of seminars were held to discuss the raw data.

A total of 2,009 valid samples were collected, with a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of plus or minus 2.19 percentage points.