02 July 2008

Public service delivery ranks below corruption in perception index

The Star

PUTRAJAYA: The public’s impression of public service delivery its even lower than its perception of corruption.

Malaysian Integrity Institute (IIM) president Datuk Dr Mohd Tap Salleh said public service delivery received the lowest scores among the six sub-groups making up the inaugural national perception index at 6.60.

Of the other groups, corruption scored 6.76 social responsibility and ethical business practice 6.90, courtesy 7.07, strength of the community and family institutions 7.38, and public security and quality of life 7.41.

“The survey findings are important because they will assist the Government in re-assessing existing policies and drafting new ones,” he said, adding that a national survey would be conducted annually, with that for 2008 to commence in the middle of this month.

The survey was the brainchild of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who proposed a National Integrity Plan (NIP) be drawn up. Abdullah launched the NIP on April 23, 2004.

Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan launched the IIM's National Integrity Perception Index Survey Report 2007 here Wednesday.

The survey, a mechanism to assess integrity in the local context, involving 14,967 respondents nationwide, came up with an overall score of 6.97.

The three sample groups were households (10,023 or 67%), public sector (4,031 or 26.9%) and senior officers in the private sector (913 or 6.1%).

According to the report, 53.9% perceived the level of corruption in Malaysia to be high and 58.2% said anti-corruption measures had been effective.

It said the understanding of corruption was still low because Malaysians thought the following scenarios were not corrupt practices:

To be directly involved in the process of awarding a contract to a family member (29%); > To be directly involved in the process of selecting a family member to fill a vacancy in the department (36.5%); > Submitting a claim for accommodation for out-of-town work when it had been paid for by the organiser.

Datuk Dr Mohd Tap said the 6.76 score in the local corruption perception index was better than Transparency International’s 5.10 for Malaysia that was based on a survey of foreign businessmen.

“It is expected public perception will continue to improve, based on the Government’s development policy, greater transparency and the announcement of an independent Anti-Corruption Agency

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