Businesses in Indonesia are the fourth-most likely in the world to offer bribes in their dealings, according to a new report by anticorruption group Transparency International.
The group asked more than 3,000 businesspeople worldwide about their views on the extent to which firms from 28 leading economies — representing 80 percent of global trade — engage in bribery while doing business abroad.
Franky Simanjuntak, who heads the economic management department of Transparency International Indonesia, said the report “means that Indonesian businesspeople are permissive toward bribery when doing their business abroad.”
The group scores and ranks countries on a scale of 0 to 10, where a maximum score of 10 corresponds with a view that companies from that country never engage in bribery when doing business abroad.
Businessmen from the Netherlands and Switzerland were tied as the least likely to use bribes, with a score of 8.8. Belgium, Germany and Japan followed closely behind.
The highest-ranked countries, meaning that they have businesspeople with a propensity to use bribes regularly when doing business abroad, were Russia with an index of 6.1, followed by China with 6.5, then Mexico and Indonesia.
None of the 28 major economies were perceived to be totally clean and not engage in bribery.
Franky said that the worst bribery took place in the public works and construction sector, where the large scale and uniqueness of the construction projects made it easy to mark up the spending.
The index will be released in Indonesia today, and it will suggest that the government respond by issuing policies that could prevent bribery by foreign companies here and by Indonesian companies abroad, Franky added.
“This could have a bad impact, regarding international trust in Indonesian companies,” he said.
Indonesia has signed but has yet to ratify the UN Convention against Corruption that has been signed off on by 154 countries.
The convention requires member states to cover both preventive measures and the criminalization of a wide range of corrupt practices, including the bribery of foreign officials, through regulations.
“The United States has had a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in place since the 1970s, while the UK has the UK Bribery Act,” Franky said. “Indonesia has nothing comparable to those pieces of legislation.”
He said the index should be a wake-up call for the government, which should quickly come out with regulations that criminalize bribery at home and abroad.
This is the second bribery index released by the watchdog group. The previous index, which was issued in 2008, did not include Indonesia.
Along with Indonesia, the newcomers include Argentina, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and United Arab Emirates.
United Kingdom 8.3
United States 8.1
Saudi Arabia 7.4
United Arab Emirates 7.3