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June 23, 2017

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TI plans new graft poll for Taiwan following skepticism

TAIPEI--Transparency International (TI) will commission a new poll on corruption in Taiwan, an official said yesterday, after the group's original findings sparked widespread skepticism.

Kevin Yeh, executive director of Transparency International Chinese Taipei (TICT) said the non-governmental organization based in Berlin has agreed to having a new poll conducted, although how it will be funded has yet to be decided.

Yeh said TI headquarters expected TICT to foot the bill for the survey, but TICT is discussing the issue with its parent organization, hoping it will provide some of the funds.

Yeh did not give an estimate of how much conducting a new poll would cost.

TICT will ask an impartial and experienced polling company in Taiwan to handle the project after discussing such issues as methodology and the questionnaire with TI, Yeh said.

The findings are expected to be published in Taipei with TI's participation, he said.

TI has been under fire in Taiwan for the country's results in its 2013 Global Corruption Barometer. The survey found that 36 percent of people in Taiwan who had used any of eight government services in the past year had paid a bribe.

The report sparked skepticism as the percentage was far above the 7 percent and 2 percent figures reported for Taiwan in the 2010 and 2006 Global Corruption Barometer reports, the two previous times Taiwan was included in the survey.

Even Yeh expressed doubts about the results.

The skepticism was further heightened when local media found that the company listed in TI's 2013 report as having conducted the test in Taiwan — Shanghai-based WisdomAsia — denied having done the job.

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