Original Articles

Is military the least corrupt institution in Pakistan? A comment on Adil Gilani’s TIP report

Adil Gilani's Transparency Reports are neither professional nor transparent.

Related posts: LUBP archive on Adil Gilani
LUBP archive on Transparency International Pakistan
LUBP archive on corrupt generals

Transparency International Pakistan (TIP) has included the military for the first time in a survey that shows the defence being amongst the least corrupt while police and land administration departments were the most corrupt. The summary of TIP’s national corruption perception survey, 2011, was released in Karachi. The survey showed that land administration and police were two of the most corrupt and education and military were least corrupt departments, reported Dawn. The military was included in the survey for the first time. (Source)

Transparency International advisor Adil Gilani said the military had been included “to dispel the impression that our surveys are biased”. (Source)

The latest perception report from Transparency International Pakistan (TIP) shows a limited number of respondents see centres of corruption in Pakistan in the following descending order, of being perceived as the most corrupt to the least: 1) land administration; 2) police; 3) income tax; 4) judiciary; 5) tendering & contracting; 6) customs, plus state corporations and the last is the army. (Source)

It is a matter of grave concern that corruption has deeply permeated in every strata of our society. Scandals about misappropriation and plundering of billions from the banks and other federal, provincial and semi-government departments abound. However, the Pakistani military has maintained its reputation of being the least corrupt, according to a recent survey released by the Transparency International Pakistan (TIP), as compared to other institutions in the country. (Source)

Funny some Pakistani papers said military was most corrupt according to this report when international media was saying army is least corrupt. Guess fake liberal hate Pakistan more than Americans. (Source)

Transparency International’s Report Is Garbage

by Mahmood Adeel (Source)

Last week, Transparency International Pakistan released the National Corruption Peception Survey 2011. You have heard about the report and its results, no doubt, from one of the many news reports about its findings. Of particular interest has been its findings about corruption in the military as this is the first year military was included in the survey. What you probably haven’t heard much about, however, is that the report is garbage.

Before parroting the findings of any ‘report’, people should take a close look at the study’s methodology. According to the methodology explanation for TIP’s latest report, Gallup Pakistan (not related to Gallup Inc. headquartered in Washington D.C. USA) surveyed 2,500 Pakistani men and women adults. The error margin for a sample of this size is ±3.5%.

According to the results, only 3% of those surveyed said they had any contact with the military. Of that subset, 11% said they “felt compelled to pay a bribe”. First of all, 3% of respondents is already within the margin of error. But let’s take it a step further: 11% of 3% of people answered in a way that suggests the military is corrupt That’s approximately 8 people only. Which tell us, essentially, nothing. It should also be noted that only 4% of those surveyed said they had any contact with either Customs or Tendering & Contracting.

Let’s also consider the questions that were asked by TIP. Actually, there were only two: First, “In the recent 12 months, did you or your family get a chance to contact any of the following institutions or not?” and second, “Did you feel compelled to pay a bribe?”

Nobody asked why they felt compelled to pay a bribe. Nobody asked if a bribe was actually demanded. Nobody asked if this hypothetical bribe were accepted. And nobody seems to have considered that those people who had contact with institutions like the military might not want to tell a complete stranger who called them the phone that they ‘felt compelled to pay a bribe’ and thought an institution like military was corrupt. With regard to the Education department, does ‘tuition’ count as a bribe? How was this explained to the survey participants?

It is also important to look at the different institutions that TIP asked about. Obviously more people are going to have more contact with Police, Electricity Supply and Taxation than with Military or Tendering & Contracting. Comparatively, these numbers are meaningless. Even if the answers did fall outside TIP’s own margin of error, which they don’t, it appears from the methodology that they asked 2,500 people if they had any contact with each of the 10 institutions – they didn’t find 2,500 people who had contact with each institution. Just because someone has contact with the military and ‘feels compelled to pay a bribe’ but didn’t ever have contact with the police, it doesn’t mean that they think the military is more corrupt than the police. That’s a false inference. And what about Education? Do people consider ‘tuition’ to be a bribe? The ambiguity of the only two questions asked make the answers meaningless.

Furthermore, you can’t rank these institutions because the samples are completely different and the answers are ambiguous. You would be comparing apples to oranges. But that doesn’t stop TIP, who terms Police as most corrupt and Education and Military as least corrupt. Maybe this sounds plausible, except that none of that is supported by the data in this report.

Also worth noting, the institution with the greatest percentage of public contact was Health Department, and even that is below 40%! According to TIP’s study, up to 61% of the population may have had no contact with any government agency at all since the past 1 year!

As far as I can tell, the only thing TIP’s report is good for is as a talking point to criticise government and security agencies. Of course, people will point out that there is a lot to criticise. But this report offers nothing in the way of useful information that could possibly help to eliminate corruption in society. Rather than generating junk studies like this, TIP should produce legitimate research so that we can learn about the problems plaguing the nation and figure out how to actually do something about them.

Lastly, I want to note one thing that always drives me crazy about these Transparency International reports. They are not studies of corruption. They are studies of perceptions of corruption. I don’t know how much co-Sponsors Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC and USAID paid TIP to tell them that people think corruption is a problem, or that people pay bribes to police, but I could have saved them a lot of money. Most frustrating, though, is that these reports are self-reinforcing. People read reports about the annual TI report saying corruption is a problem. So they believe corruption is a problem. Then next year TI calls and asks them if corruption is a problem. “Yes, of course, I read your study!” With “research” like this, is it any wonder we’re not making any progress?

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  • Rehman Malik threatens to ‘expose’ TIP
    Press Trust of India

    Islamabad: Interior Minister Rehman Malik has threatened to “expose” corruption watchdog Transparency International Pakistan (TIP) for allegedly working against the interests of the country. Malik claimed he would reveal the “real truth” behind organisations like TIP while speaking during question hour in the National Assembly or Lower House of Parliament on Thursday.
    He was responding to questions about the TIP’s national corruption perception survey that was released on Wednesday. TIP said in the report that Pakistan’s education sector and the military were the least corrupt while land administration and police were the most corrupt.
    “TIP is not a big gun. It is just a non-governmental organisation which works for its own vested interests,” Malik said.

    When a legislator drew his attention towards the TIP survey report, Malik said unlike the developed world where all departments were computerised, things were totally different in Pakistan.
    Malik said most of the work in the revenue department is still done manually. Therefore, there was no need to believe what TIP had said in its report about corruption in various government departments, he contended.
    “Some people and organisations don’t want foreign investment coming to the country and, therefore, on and off they come up with such reports. When such organisations will say Pakistan is a corrupt country who will come here for investment?” he asked.
    In an attempt to substantiate his argument and respond to questions from lawmakers, Malik said: “If the house agrees, I should be given time some day to explain the real story behind the TIP.”
    Malik did not rule out corruption in the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) but said the government was making every possible effort to curb it. Over the past four years, the government terminated some 40 employees of FIA found guilty of serious dereliction of duty, he said.
    FIA had taken action against firms like Hanani and Kalia that were involved in illegal transactions, and remittances sent by overseas Pakistanis through legal means had reached over USD 11 billion, Malik said. Moreover, Pakistan was no longer on the watch list of countries with significant cases of human smuggling, he said.
    In reply to a question, Malik said there were “many loopholes” in the existing law of evidence that were exploited by terrorists to get themselves freed from courts.
    “I strongly request this house to adopt necessary amendments to make the law of evidence an effective tool in the hands of law enforcement agencies,” he said.

    http://ibnlive.in.com/news/malik-threatens-to-expose-tip/216376-56.html