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The Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, on air on Sky News, stated: "According to the World Justice Project, in terms of low levels of corruption, Georgia is in the first place among the 13 countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, whilst out of 102 countries worldwide, Georgia ranks 29th.

In regard to the Global Corruption Barometer survey, less than 4% surveyed in Georgia said that they have ever given a bribe. This is a very low level of corruption."

FactCheck

took interest in the accuracy of the statement.

The World Justice Project was founded upon the initiative of the American Bar Association (

ABA) and works to advance the rule of law throughout the world. One of the outputs of the World Justice Project is the Rule of Law Index which reflects the perception of the rule of law by the citizens of a given country. The research is based upon the survey results of more than 100,000 households and 2,400 experts. The average assessment of a specific territorial unit depends upon 48 indicators from eight categories. These categories include:  Constraints on Government Powers, Absence of Corruption, Open Government, Fundamental Rights, Order and Security, Regulatory Enforcement, Civil Justice and Criminal Justice. The indicators for the Rule of Law Index in Georgia in the period of 2012-2015 are given in Table 1.

Table 1:

Rule of Law Index (Georgia)

Year 2012-2013 2014 2015
Constraints on Government Powers 0.48 0.53 0.62
Absence of Corruption 0.77 0.71 0.73
Order and Security 0.84 0.48 0.61
Fundamental Rights 0.61 0.58 0.64
Open Government 0.47 0.85 0.83
Regulatory Enforcement 0.63 0.57 0.62
Civil Justice 0.61 0.59 0.63
Criminal Justice 0.66 0.51 0.54
Average Number 0.63 0.60 0.65
Place in the Region [1] 6 1 1
Place in the Whole Ranking 30 31 29
Source: World Justice Project

As illustrated by the table, the average assessment number for Georgia in 2012-2013 was 0.63 which corresponds to the 6th and 30th places in the regional and full rankings, respectively. In 2014, the average number worsened and dropped to 0.6. As a result, Georgia moved down by one place in the full ranking but moved up to the 1st place in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia regional ranking following a regrouping change (Estonia, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovenia, which performed better than Georgia, were removed from the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region). In 2015, Georgia’s average number rose to 0.65. Therefore, Georgia moved up to the 29th

place in the full ranking and maintained the same position in the regional ranking.

According to the data of the World Justice Project, Georgia’s Absence of Corruption indicator was 0.77 in 2012-2013. It worsened and fell to 0.71 in 2014 but increased to 0.73 in 2015 although not reaching the margin registered in 2012-2013. At the same time, according to Transparency International

’s Corruption Perception Index, Georgia’s indicator was 52 in 2012. It worsened in 2013 and decreased to 49, reached the same number in 2014 as it had in 2012 and then did not change again in 2015. Therefore, Georgia’s corruption perception level has not changed in a positive direction in the last three years.

The results of the Global Corruption Barometer’s latest research were published in July 2013. According to this research, only 4% of the surveyed population said that they had paid a bribe during the last 12 months which is a very low indicator indeed. The worldwide average is 27% (see the link).

However, of particular note is that the research published in 2013 reflects the situation as it was in 2012. The data for the present situation are given in Transparency International Georgia’s research published at the beginning of May 2016.

There were 2,032 participants in the survey conducted by the Caucasus Research Resource Centre

 on the direction of Transparency International Georgia. Of this number, 40% is of the opinion that it is usual for public servants to abuse their powers for personal gains. This number constitutes a 15% and 28% rise as compared to the numbers in 2015 and 2013, respectively. The situation is different when it comes to corruption levels at lower levels of the hierarchy. Only 1% of those surveyed in 2016 says that he had paid a bribe in the 12-month period prior to the survey. This number is the same as the one registered in 2015 but less than the number registered in 2013.

Conclusion According to the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index, Georgia is in the first place in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region and occupies the 29th

place in the full ranking. As compared to 2012-2013, Georgia moved forward only by one place although itsmoving up to the first place in the regional ranking was the result of changes in the survey groupings; namely, the regional affiliations of five countries, which were ahead of Georgia, were changed. At the same time, the absence of corruption is only one of the eight categories affecting the overall assessment. In this case, it was not a factor behind the growth in the average number because the indicator for the absence of corruption in fact worsened as compared to 2012-2013.

The trend of changes in Transparency International Georgia’s Corruption Perception Index in 2012-2015 indicates that the corruption perception level in Georgia is the same as it was in 2012 with no improvements observed.

According to the Global Corruption Barometer’s 2013 research, only 4% of surveyed citizens said that they had paid a bribe which is a very low indicator indeed. According to Transparency International Georgia’s research published in May 2016, the positive trend in terms of corruption is maintained at the lower levels of the hierarchy. Of further note is that corruption is not only the taking of a bribe. The perception of the abuse of powers by public servants for their personal gains increased to 40% which is 15% and 28% more as compared to the numbers registered in 2015 and 2013, respectively.

FactCheck concludes that Giorgi Kvirikashvili’s statement is HALF TRUE.

__________________________ [1] In 2012-2013, the region included 21 countries. From 2014, this number dropped to 13.