Berlin-based Transparency International (TI) gave a preliminary response to Taiwan over its latest Global Corruption Barometer, which included the nation among the most corrupt countries in the world, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Anna Kao (高安) said yesterday.
Kao said the response was received soon after Taiwan’s representative office in Germany registered its concerns.
The office later filed a formal letter to request that TI reviews and makes corrections to its results, to which the ministry has not yet received a formal response, Kao said.
She said the ministry “lodged strong protests” against the finding that 36 percent of respondents in Taiwan said they had bribed contacts within the public sector.
The results were a “blatant error,” Kao said, because Taiwan had received good rankings on governance in previous TI surveys.
Looking at the annual Global Corruption Barometers, there was a big difference in bribery this year compared with previous years — 3 percent in 2005, 2 percent in 2006, and 7 percent in 2010, Kao said.
Taiwan also had good rankings in the TI’s Corruption Perceptions Index released in 2010, 2011 and last year, Kao said.
She said that the TI’s Government Defense Anti-Corruption Index released in January showed that Taiwan was one of nine countries that demonstrated a low level of corruption risk.
The government has attributed the allegedly inaccurate results to the firm that conducted the survey, which it said was Shanghai-based WisdomAsia Marketing & Research Consulting of Gallup International.
It says that callers from Shanghai with strong accents might have had difficulty communicating with people in Taiwan and thus caused sampling bias.
However, WisdomAsia has issued a statement saying that it did not conduct the survey, although the Global Corruption Barometer, released on Tuesday, stated that WisdomAsia had carried out the Taiwan survey by telephone.
The CRC-research Center of Gallup International based in Beijing later came forward to say it had been commissioned by the TI to survey the situation in Taiwan through online interview.
Kevin Yeh (葉一璋), executive director of Transparency International Chinese Taipei (TICT), TI’s national chapter in Taiwan, yesterday said the office learned from headquarters that the CRC-research Center was commissioned to undertake the survey in August last year before the survey began the following month.
Yeh said the TICT had made a suggestion to headquarters that the survey be conducted by a Taipei-based survey company to ensure quality, but the suggestion was not accepted.
He added the TITC had thought that TI headquarters appointed WisdomAsia to replace the CRC-research Center after it received a copy of the Global Corruption Barometer.
Since China joined the TI, a few years after Taiwan’s formal admission to the TI in 2002, the TI has commissioned survey projects about Taiwan to polling firms based in China, Yeh said.