Does the World Bank Make Rankings During Enterprise Surveys and How Did the Georgian Government Calculate the Bribery Incidence Rate?

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Reading Time: 6 minutes

256
VIEWS

On January 22, 2024, the administration of the Georgian government reported about the leading position of Georgia in the World Bank Enterprise Survey. According to the statement, Georgia ranks 13th in the world in terms of the lack of bribery and is in the top ten in Europe, and it is among the best in the world in terms of freedom from bribery when it comes to obtaining government contracts.

Based on the administration of the Georgian government, the results of the World Bank’s survey were also disseminated by the media with an identical interpretation. “Imedi” TV prepared an extensive story on the topic, and the pro-government expert Amiran Salukvadze responded to the information on social media.

meqrthameobis machvenebeli1 Does the World Bank Make Rankings During Enterprise Surveys and How Did the Georgian Government Calculate the Bribery Incidence Rate?

meqrthameobis machvenebeli2 Does the World Bank Make Rankings During Enterprise Surveys and How Did the Georgian Government Calculate the Bribery Incidence Rate?

The given interpretation of the results of the enterprise survey conducted under the auspices of the World Bank is misleading. The World Bank does not rank countries based on the results of the enterprise survey.

The survey is conducted in all countries at different times, on the principle of rotation, and therefore the data of the countries differ from year to year. For example, in the interactive database of the World Bank, which the organization updates regularly, as of January 24, the results of the survey conducted in 2023 are available only in the case of nine economies. Meanwhile, the data of the rest of the countries dates back to different years and ranges between 2006-2022.

A World Bank Enterprise Survey is a firm-level survey of a representative sample of an economy’s private sector. It is conducted at the level of company owners and managers, and its purpose is to obtain information on the country’s business environment based on the experience of private companies. The World Bank conducts research in different countries at different intervals.

The World Bank database combines data collected at different times in 158 countries, covering more than 100 indicators and 13 themes. As of January 24, 2023 survey results are available for only nine economies – Central African Republic, El Salvador, Georgia, Indonesia, Mexico, Nepal, Peru, Sierra Leone, and Gaza and the West Bank. The data for other countries is added gradually, however, in the case of some countries, the data has not been updated since 2006, which does not allow for determining the overall ranking of the countries. The attempt to rank the data like this is flawed both methodologically and in terms of content and does not reflect the real picture.

The research is broad-based, and one part of the questionnaire is devoted to the relationship between business and the state and the topic of corruption. This section of the study and two specific indicators were the main focus of the statement issued by the Georgian government administration. Namely:

Bribery incidence – measures the number of firms experiencing at least one bribe payment request;

Bribery to secure government contracts – measures the number of firms expected to give gifts to secure a government contract;

592 companies in Georgia were surveyed in 2023 as part of the World Bank Enterprise Survey. In the corruption section, which examines a total of thirteen indicators, each numerical value represents the percentage share of companies in the total sample. Regional and “all country” average indicators are obtained by calculating a simple average based on the latest available survey indicators in each country. To calculate this data, the studies published in 2013-2023 and conducted using the global enterprise research methodology are used.

The results of the research conducted in Georgia, according to the measuring indicators of corruption, are as follows:

meqrthameobis machvenebeli3 Does the World Bank Make Rankings During Enterprise Surveys and How Did the Georgian Government Calculate the Bribery Incidence Rate?
Source: Enterprise Survey Georgia

For example, according to the indicator of bribery incidence, only 1% of surveyed firms in Georgia say that they have experienced at least one bribe payment request. In the case of Europe and Central Asia, 7.5% of companies confirm this, and worldwide, 13.9% of companies have had similar experiences. We can read all other indicators in the table in the same way.

What did the administration of the Georgian government count wrong?

Indicator N1 – Bribery Incidence 

Claim: Georgia ranks 13th in the world with the lack of bribery and is among the top ten in Europe

Reality: The World Bank does not rank countries based on the results of the enterprise survey

According to the research data, only 1% of the owners and managers of the surveyed companies in Georgia say that they have received a request to pay a bribe at least once. However, this data does not give us information about which place Georgia occupies in the world ranking for lack of bribery. The World Bank itself does not publish such a rating, because, as we have already mentioned, the survey has a rotational nature and is conducted in different periods in all countries.

Compilation of the overall ranking of states based on data from different years is not possible even with the visualization tool of the World Bank database. Although there are various possibilities for data processing on the platform (by comparing countries and indicators), the overall ranking is only possible by downloading and ranking the data.

However, if we sort the data available in the World Bank Enterprise Survey database as of January 24 according to this indicator, the ranking will be as follows:

Country   Latest Surey Date Bribery Incidence (%)
Eritrea   2009 0
Estonia   2019 0
Luxembourg   2020 0
Sweden   2020 0
Israel   2013 0.1
Cyprus   2019 0.2
Lithuania   2019 0.2
Netherlands   2020 0.3
Portugal   2019 0.3
Ireland   2020 0.4
Malaysia   2019 0.4
Bhutan   2015 0.9
Georgia   2023 1

As one can observe, according to the order of data growth, Georgia is indeed on the 13th place, although, in this case, we are comparing the data available in Georgia in 2023, Luxembourg, Sweden and the Netherlands in 2020, Malaysia, Portugal, Lithuania, Cyprus, and Estonia in 2019, Bhutan in 2015, Israel in 2013 And in the case of Eritrea in 2009, which makes the compilation of the world ranking pointless.

Indicator  N2 – Bribery to secure government contracts

Claim: Georgia ranks first in the world in terms of freedom from bribery when securing government contracts

Reality:  The question that measured this indicator was removed from the 2023 survey questionnaire; therefore, the World Bank did not measure this indicator at all in the 2023 survey conducted in Georgia.

In the database of the World Bank’s enterprise survey, the data of this indicator is not available at all in the case of the survey conducted in Georgia in 2023.

meqrthameobis machvenebeli4 Does the World Bank Make Rankings During Enterprise Surveys and How Did the Georgian Government Calculate the Bribery Incidence Rate?
Source: Enterprise Surveys

The questionnaire used by the World Bank for conducting the survey changes periodically. The question that measured this indicator (J.6) has been removed from the 2023 questionnaire. Accordingly, most of the studies conducted in 2023 do not reflect the indicator of freedom from bribery when securing government contracts, including in the case of Georgia. The fact was confirmed to the “Myth Detector” by the World Bank’s media relations office in Georgia.

2021 Questionnaire 2023 Questionnaire
meqrthameobis machvenebeli5 Does the World Bank Make Rankings During Enterprise Surveys and How Did the Georgian Government Calculate the Bribery Incidence Rate? meqrthameobis machvenebeli6 Does the World Bank Make Rankings During Enterprise Surveys and How Did the Georgian Government Calculate the Bribery Incidence Rate?

As for the indicators of government bribery indicator in the past years, according to the research conducted in 2008, 11.3% of companies talked about the practice of informal financial transactions or gift transfers to secure government contracts; in 2013, this indicator was 1.3%, and in 2019 it was 1.4%. And the rate of bribery incidence decreased from 9.8% in 2008 to 1% in 2023.

meqrthameobis machvenebeli7 Does the World Bank Make Rankings During Enterprise Surveys and How Did the Georgian Government Calculate the Bribery Incidence Rate?
Source: Enterprise Surveys
Violation: Misleading
Source

Last News

Welcome Back!

Login to your account below

Retrieve your password

Please enter your username or email address to reset your password.

Add New Playlist