A corruption risk survey carried out at 167 government institutions showed that all these state bodies are between medium and extreme risk of corruption.
The Transparency Index of Public Entities set up by the Transparency for Colombia Corporation surveyed 75 national institutions, 64 provincial institutions and 28 city governments with the exception of those of the country’s biggest cities, Bogota, Medellin and Cali.
In general, the lower the level of government, the higher the risk of corruption, the survey revealed.
- National government: 68.2 / 100
- Provincial government: 61.5 / 100
- Local government: 56.8 / 100
The vast majority of state institution, were classified at either high risk or extreme risk of corruption. Only 27% of national institutions were at moderate risk, along with 22% of the provincial governments and 11% of the 28 local governments.
“Corrupt people and organized crime have found an environment of opportunity within the public administrations not just to obtain financial resources, but also to control territories and its populations.
Transparency for Colombia director Gerardo Andres Hernandez
According to Transparency for Colombia director Gerardo Andres Hernandez, “corruption expresses itself through the taking over the state, where the control of the political system and key processes of public administration … guarantee the manipulation of public policies and the provision of public goods and services.”
The entities most at risk of the corruption, and scored lowest in the survey, are governor’s offices and mayor’s offices that on average scored on 51% and 46% respectively in the transparency index.
Another particularly corrupt state entity is the Prosecutor General’s Office, which scored no higher than 50% in the index.
Transparency for Colombia stressed that justice, agriculture and rural development are key elements in the national government’s efforts to pacify and normalize the country that has seen mainly war since 1964.
The corporation urged citizens to not stand idly by, but actively take part in the fight against corruption, considered one of the country’s biggest challenges by the vast of Colombia’s population, according to multiple polls.
If not, corruption practices like nepotism and abuse of power are likely to perpetuate, which in turn increases the risk of Colombia’s state system simply failing as a whole.
“If the political and administrative practices don’t change, the norms will be no more than a vehicle for frustration and even the de-institutionalization” in Colombia, the NGO said.
This puts the Colombian government before quite a challenge as it has long shone in neglect and absence, particularly in rural areas, which has coincided with high crime rates.