Transparency International Cyprus (TIC) is a non-governmental, politically independent and non-profit organization with the aim to combat corruption. Some of the main priorities of TIC are to educate people and create awareness about the harmful effects of corruption and encourage them to join the fight against corruption.
Within the framework of its activities, TIC conducts an annual survey with regards to the perception of corruption in Cyprus in order to address the causes of corruption and to determine the levels of perception about corruption within the various decision-making bodies.
In the 3rd annual corruption perception survey conducted by TIC, 953 respondents participated from all major cities of Cyprus, representing all age groups, with people aged 18-30 years (39%), 31-40 years (21%), 41-50 years (19%), 51-60 years (13%) and 61 years + (8%). The vast majority of respondents (91%) believe that corruption is a major problem, while they also believe that corruption exists both nationally (85%) and locally (82%) and is going to increase due to the current economic crisis (79%).
Regarding the existence of corruption within public and private institutions, the survey found that corruption is considered to be mostly widespread among politicians (96%), public servants responsible for public procurement (94%), local authorities (93%) and officials at regional and local level (93%) as well as the Police (93%). Consistent with the findings of the two previous studies of TIC, the respondents of the survey continue to perceive that politicians are the category of people who abuse their position and power for personal gain the most out of all the categories of people listed in the question. In line with the findings of the two previous surveys (2010 and 2011) of TIC, the respondents strongly believe that politicians are the most corrupt category with responses of 90% and 93% respectively.
As highlighted by the current survey, the main reason for the existence of corruption in Cyprus is that politicians are not doing enough to combat it (88%). In addition, the respondents also believe that the lack of real punishment (87%) and the lack of meritocracy (87%) are two major determinants with regards to the justification for the existence of corruption in Cyprus.
In order to combat corruption, the vast majority of the respondents believe that the legal and judicial framework should be strengthened with:
a) Speedier trials (89%),
b) Improvement of the legal framework for the detection, prevention and punishment of corruption (89%),
c) Implementation of heavy punishment for those receiving (88%) and giving (81%) bribery;
d) More transparency and supervision with regards to political party funding (88%),
Finally, the respondents believe that the responsibility for the prevention and combat of corruption lies to the government (89%), the political parties and parliament (87%) and the police force (84%).