Assessing Corruption in Armenia

The TI corruption index

BY NANORE BARSOUMIAN
From The Armenian Weekly

BOSTON—Transparency International released the 2011 Corruption Perceptions Index on Dec. 1. The index measures perceived levels of public sector corruption in 183 countries, which receive scores between 0 (highly corrupt) and 10 (very clean). Armenia scored 2.6, ranking 129th.

Armenia shared its rank and score with Syria, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, and the Philippines. As for Armenia’s neighbors: Turkey ranked 61 with a score of 4.2; Georgia’s 4.1 score ranked it 64; Azerbaijan, on the other hand, ranked 143 with a score of 2.4.

Armenia ranked 12th (out of 19 ranks) among Eastern European and Central Asian countries. Turkey and Georgia ranked 1st and 2nd, respectively; while Azerbaijan came in 13th.

The index report explains that the use of “perceptions” as a key indicator is necessary because corruption occurs behind the curtain, and “over time, perceptions have proved to be a reliable estimate of corruption.”

New Zealand ranked the least corrupt, closely followed by Denmark and Finland; while Somalia and North Korea came in last.

“This year we have seen corruption on protestors’ banners be they rich or poor. Whether in a Europe hit by debt crisis or an Arab world starting a new political era, leaders must heed the demands for better government,” Huguette Labelle, Chair of Transparency International, was quoted as saying.

Transparency International defines corruption as “the abuse of entrusted power for private gain.”

The index relied on data from 17 surveys that monitored laws, bribery of public officials, embezzlement of public funds, and access to information, among many other factors. To determine Armenia’s 2.6 score (with a confidence range of 2.4-2.9), the index relied on eight sources. Two thirds of countries ranked by the index scored less than 5.

Click here to view the index.

Authors

Discussion Policy

Comments are welcomed and encouraged. Though you are fully responsible for the content you post, comments that include profanity, personal attacks or other inappropriate material will not be permitted. Asbarez reserves the right to block users who violate any of our posting standards and policies.

12 Comments

  1. Tsayt said:

    Fight against corruption in Armenia should be treated in the same category as fight for the freedom of Artsakh from Azerbaijan. Groups or individuals who create obstacles to the cleansing of corruption should be regarded as enemies of the state in the same way as those Armenians who cooperate with Azerbaijan. Every country on the planet has a certain level of corruption, but the level of corruption in Armenia has reached the level of endangering national security.

    This is our second war in our post-Soviet state, if we loose this one it would be more devastating than loosing Artsakh.

  2. MAZOD said:

    IT IS UTTERLY DISGRACEFUL–THE FIRST CHRISTIAN NATION IN THE WORLD–TO BE ONE OF THE MOST CORRUPT COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD. PTOOOOEY! I SPIT ON THE GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS WHO STEAL THE DIASPORA’S AND ARMENIAN PEOPLE’S MONEY. AMOT YEV ANGIRT. YOU WILL NOT SEE A SHINY PENNY COMING FROM MY POCKET.

    • Tsayt said:

      regardless of that word, corruption is “institutionalized” in Armenia. From hearing a recent story of a fellow from Diaspora marrying an Armenian citizen and the “bureaucratic process” he went through is enough to throw up. The legalized embezzlement, and the way officers at every level of immigration and customs department made sure this diaspora Armenian “understood” how to proceed in the paperwork only reinforces the “perception” of corruption in Armenia. Names of lawyers, who are conveniently lined up next door, are given to “facilitate” this process.

      Shall we talk how traffic police in Armenia issue speeding tickets? going 50 in 50 km zone can cost you hundreds of dollars (yes dollars).

  3. bigmoustache said:

    how embarrasing, the same nation of intellectuals, the people that produced such writers, thinkers, revolutionaries…
    we have serious house cleaning to do

  4. Christo said:

    I question the objectivity and the accuracy of this report.
    I am to understand that the billions of dollars spent to topple Muammar, and this newly “liberated” Libya by fanatics is ranked literally at the bottom of the list. OK, and Singapore is less corrupt that the US! What! Who in the world compiled this report and what was their objective? Does anyone know any person, who is employed in the federal, state or local level that accepts bribes in America? But, this report goes on to inform us that Barbados, The Bahamas, Chili and QATAR!! are less corrupt than the U.S. Then again, Estonia, Botswana, Slovenia, Saint Lucia are trailing the U.S. in corruption.
    Yet, the country that introduced the concept of corruption (Bakhsish) to the middle east, the country that calls itself R o Turkey, that is occupying Asia Minor, is ranked 61st. Can you believe this report Billy, all that money your gf dropped off to you in the photo album is useless today. According to this report RoT is less corrupt that U.S. Samoa. Hey you G Men, are you reading this report. Turkey is less corrupt than US Samoa. Who or what entity is corrupt in US Samoa? (Guess there is a black market for fruit trees.) Wake up, Captain Bligh for what you’re about to hear will make you turn over in your grave!
    Then again, just like that token whitie, or African American, Armenia is ranked less corrupt than azerbaijan, but we are ranked in the same group as Iran.
    The most interesting observation is that Cuba, is less corrupt than RoT. Either the CIA doesn’t have enough suitcases to pay off and topple the commies in Cuba, or they are negotiating with the wrong bank notes.
    By the way Mazod, your pennies neither made any of the oligarchs richer or put food on that senior who was picking the corner trash bin in Armenia. Armenians, like yourself are self centered egoists. Don’t think anyone in Armenia or anywhere in the world is going to bend over to you just because you donated a few dollars. Keep your money go spend in Vegas. We don’t need your dirty money anyways.
    I LOVE ARMENIA, For better or worse it’s MY COUNTRY! I’m not your monday morning quarter back, don’t emigrate then Bi**H.

    • www.Voskanapat.info said:

      “Does anyone know any person, who is employed in the federal, state or local level that accepts bribes in America?”

      Search newspapers – bribes are common on every level!! Besides, Monica was a federal intern, right? And now thanks to Mr. Cane-the-model “American businessman” and once GOP’s hopeful, we know how people get jobs in the private sector too.

      You can also read reports on cozy relationships of federal inspectors who were supposed to check Oil and Gas companies in the Gulf.

      Or how about the intricate deals between US Congressmen and the lobbiosi mafia – called different names, but corrupt at the core!

      Petty corruption of police officers is the easiest thing to get rid of (look at Georgia) – but how do you get rid of pork in the Federal budget?

  5. gary_S said:

    There is a relationship between how well countries are doing economically (least corrupt) and countries who are doing bad economically–most corrupt.

  6. Vacheh said:

    As long as there is no Diasporan-Armenian at the helm, our homeland will be under the feet of corruption-infested officials who are fed by the native mafia.

    As Mazod says, these pigs will not see a single penny from my pocket donated to government-driven fund raising. I rather donate my money directly to the needy people who live at the fringes of Yerevan or at nearby villages.

    I wish Zoravar Andranik’s jokats were alive today to teach a descent lesson to the mafia-backed officials and pave the way for the progress of our sacred homeland.

  7. Peter Megerdumian said:

    Capitalism is the curse of Armenia and the world. If Armenia had switched from a Eastern model of centralized socialism to a Western European mixed economy model taking the best of capitalism and socialism would have created a big difference. You will notice that every country that has low corruption indexes has an economic system that mixes aspects of capitalism with Western European socialism which is very different from the Eastern European socialism which was a totalitarian form of socialism. Capitalism promotes corruption and we see this with Wall Street.Finland , Denmark and New Zealand have systems that promote greater social equality and that taxes the rich and helps the poor.. The majority of former Soviet Republics suffer from corruption.

  8. Peter Megerdumian said:

    The Armenian diaspora should not have been suprised with the mess created by the rapid change from a centrally controlled socialist/communist system to a free market capitalist country. The same mess has occured in every former Soviet Republic and it has also messed up Russia. Russia is run by a mafia oligarchy just as Armenia is run by a mafia oligarchy who are stooges of Putin (Rasputin). Armenia should have gone to a Swedish or Western European socialist model.

  9. Harutik said:

    At the end of the day, this pointless/senseless/bullkaka report acts as psychological warfare operations (psyops). Its intent, like all government sanctioned psyops, is to break the Armenian spirit. They are succeeding in using the fledgling nation’s growing pains against it – simply because geopolitically Armenia refuses to align itself to the West. Thus, Armenia is seriously being targeted by special interest controlled Western institutions and news media. This is a very serious matter, and it goes way beyond “fighting corruption” in Armenia. This is also the reason why all self-respecting Armenians (I know there are only a few of those in the English speaking world) to refrain from recklessly attacking the Armenian government. I emphasize working with the current authorities to bring about change, not work against them. Armenia needs political and social evolution, not a Western funded revolution.

*

Top