The police force is seen by the business community as the most bribe-riddled institution, while corruption at judicial institutions is the most costly, according to a survey revealed Wednesday.
The study was conducted by Transparency International Indonesia (TII) between September and December last year, and involved 3,841 respondents, mainly business executives.
Most respondents considered bribery necessary to smooth out bureaucracy, obtain business permits and contracts, and win favorable court decisions.
TII research and policy manager Frenky Simanjuntak said 48 percent of respondents admitted to paying an average of over Rp 2.2 million (US$200) to bribe police officers.
The police had also booked first place in TII’s 2007 survey, with a corruption perception index of 4.2.
National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Abubakar Nataprawira questioned the methodology used in the survey. “Of course we respect the results and are going to use it to improve ourselves, but the sole question is what methodology is used for the survey?” he said.
Coming second in terms of the occurrence of graft was the customs and excise offi ce, followed by the immigration offi ce and municipal administrations, according to the 2008 survey.
While courts rated better in the occurrence of bribes, the average bribe paid was Rp 112.4 million per deal — the highest value among the institutions in the survey. “The amount of money has provided us with a clear reason to doubt the judiciary’s willingness to reform and improve its performance,” Frenky said.
TII also listed Yogyakarta as the least corrupt city in Indonesia, followed by Palangkaraya in Central Kalimantan and Banda Aceh in Aceh province, while Kupang in East Nusa Tenggara was rated the worst.
The survey also said out of 1,074 public servants who were asked whether they would accept bribes, only 58 percent said they were certain they would not accept one.
“Many civil servants are starting to feel insecure whenever we bring up programs that may require firm punishment if they fail to accomplish them,” said Wiharto of the State Ministry for Administrative Reforms.