On 21 December 2017, in his speech at the plenary session of the Parliament of Georgia, the Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, stated: “Georgia’s performance has been improved an every institution of the Corruption Perceptions Index. That includes Transparency International, World Bank, Heritage Foundation. These are three very large international institutions, which assess the country’s performance in fight against corruption and we have improvements in every direction for the last five years.”
FactCheck took interest in the accuracy of the statement.
Transparency International’s 2016 research includes corruption figures of 176 countries. The countries are assessed by 100 point scale (0 – high level of corruption, 100 free from corruption). Of 176 countries, Georgia is ranked 44th with 57 points, whilst it is at 21st place among the 50 countries of Europe and Central Asia Region. Of note is that Georgia’s index has been improved as compared to the previous years. In 2012 Georgia had 52 points, in 2013 – 49 points, in 2014 and 2015 – 52 points again and in 2016 – 57 points. 2017 research has not been published yet.
Map 1: Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, 2016
Source: Transparency International
Heritage Foundation’s 2017 report about economic freedom uses corruption figures in countries for the analysis. The aforementioned index does not include separate corruption perception point, but it has significant influence upon two indicators – property rights and judicial effectiveness. Countries in the report are assessed by 100 point scale (0 – lowest level of economic freedom, 100 highest level of economic freedom). In accordance with 2017 statistics, of 186 countries Georgia is ranked 13th with 76 points, whilst it is at the 5th place when it comes to regional ranking (Europe). This indicator was improved by 3.4 points in 2017 as compared to 2016. Georgia occupies 77th position in terms of property rights and 34th position in terms of judicial effectiveness.
Graph 1: Georgia’s Economic Freedom Index 2012-2017
In addition, Georgia’s statistics on corruption perception index is given in World Bank’s data – among the worldwide governance indicators, where assessment of corruption control is one the variables. According to this variable, countries are assessed from -2.5 to 2.5 points (most effective control of corruption). In 2012, control of corruption in Georgia was assessed by 0.40 points and with that figure Georgia was ranked 67th in the world ranking. In 2016, Georgia had 0.67 points and was ranked 56th in the world ranking. Of note is that points are awarded on the basis of research conducted with enterprises and citizens.
Despite the aforementioned information, 12% of the surveyed respondents in Georgia name corruption among the three most important problems of the country. In accordance with Global Corruption Barometer’s 2016 research, 58% of surveyed respondents in Georgia had to deal with at least one of eight public services. Of those 58% of respondents, 7% had to pay bribe to get public service. Of note is that this figure has been worsened as compared to 2013, when it was 4%. For comparison, in 2016, the figure of paying bribes to get public service is 27% in Russia, 23% in Ukraine, 19% in Armenia, 15% in Azerbaijan and 8% in Turkey.
In accordance with the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness 2017-2018 report, Georgia was ranked 67th of 137 countries. In accordance with 2016-2017 report, Georga was ranked 59th. The research reads that (together with other indicators), the following indicator have been worsened: favouritism in decisions of government officials. In this regard, Georgia has lost 12 positions, whilst in bribery component Georgia has lost 7 positions (see FactCheck’s article on this topic).
In accordance with Transparency International’s 2016 report on Corruption Perception Index, of 176 countries Georgia is ranked 44th with 57 points. In 2012 Georgia had 52 points, in 2013 -49 points, in 2014 and 2015 – 52 points.
Heritage Foundation’s 2017 report on Economic Freedom (in turn, this report is based on corruption perceptions index as well), of 186 countries Georgia is ranked 13th with 76 points. Level of corruption significantly impacts the following two indicators – property rights and judicial effectiveness. Georgia is ranked 77th in terms of property rights and 35th in terms of judicial effectivenss.
In regard to the World Bank data, in 2012, control of corruption in Georgia was assessed by 0.40 points and with that figure Georgia was ranked 67th in the world ranking. In 2016, Georgia had 0.67 points and was ranked 56th in the world ranking. Of note is that points are awarded on the basis of research conducted with enterprises and citizens.
Despite improved performance in the aforementioned indexes, 12% of the interviewed respondents in Georgia name corruption among three most important problems of the country. According to Global Corruption Barometer’s 2016 research, figure of taking bribes has increased by 3% as compared to 2013. At the same time, in accordance with the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness 2017-2018 report, Georgia’s position has worsened in terms of bribery and favouritism in decisions of government officials.
FactCheck concludes that Giorgi Kvirikashvili’s statement is MOSTLY TRUE.