University Of Guam Conducting Corruption Perception Survey

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Based on model that allows for inter-country comparison

By John O’Connor

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Marianas Variety Guam, October 26, 2015) – The University of Guam is conducting a survey to gauge people’s perception of corruption on Guam and in the Federated States of Micronesia.

According to a release by the university, the survey is based on Transparency International’s Global Corruption Barometer survey and also contains government regulation-related questions and demographic questions designed to obtain a profile of the survey respondent.

Transparency International is a non-governmental organization that monitors and publicizes corporate and political corruption, according to the release.

The study will be used to compare Guam and the FSM with the United States and more than 100 other countries for which Transparency International already has corruption measures for.

Professor Claret Ruane proposed the study for UOG’s Master in Public Administration program. Her interest in the topic began a year ago while working with her students to use Transparency International’s corruption data set to study how corruption in different countries affects economic development. "It was while working on this study that the question came up of how Guam’s data…might look and compare to the U.S. and 100+ other countries," Ruane said on behalf of her research team.

With Guam part of the U.S., the presumption is Guam shares the mainland’s measures on corruption but this is not necessarily true, Ruane said. While measures in other states and regions may not reflect the national average measure for the U.S., Ruane and her team think that "the leap is greater to say that the US "national average" also applies to Guam."

From the survey, Ruane and her team hope to measure how people in Guam and the FSM view the role of culture in perpetuating or mitigating corruption. They would also like to better understand the ability of the public to call attention to cases of corruption.

"We hope the survey results will allow the island community to put these important issues in proper perspective and quantify some resident views on these issues," Ruane said in the release. "We want our community to engage in a reflective and productive dialogue on how to improve upon our current situation, whatever it might be."

The survey comes at a time when Guam government workers face allegations of corruption. On Oct. 21, police arrested Lourdes Fernandez Blas, an employee with the Department of Revenue and Taxation. Fernandez is accused of fixing motor vehicle licenses for certain individuals without going through the required process, and collecting $500 to $700 in exchange for the licenses.

The next day, police arrested Linda Jean Pangelinan Palacios, another DRT employee, for her alleged involvement in the case.

On Oct. 15, five customs officers, two alcohol beverage control compliance officers and three civilian co-conspirators pleaded guilty to corruption charges in federal court.

Those interested in the survey can view it online at: http://www.uog.edu/sbpa/mpa-survey. Participants can also visit the UOG School of Business and Public Administration Dean’s Office to fill out a printed survey.

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