A Study on Bribes in Jordan

Transparency International recently carried out a pilot study on bribery in Jordan, using 327 people as a sample.

I think everyone should at the very least look at the results which I’ve summarized as follows:

72.3% say the government is not serious about combating bribery
59.6% say bribery will increase next year
93.5% say bribery is a form of corruption

29.4% say bribery existed to a large extent
33.9% say bribery existed to a medium extent
31.2% say bribery existed to a small extent

11% say they had been informed of the need for a bribe by those who asked for one
41% say they had been informed of the need for a bribe by “other sources”
8.4% say the offered to pay themselves

Amount Paid?

17% say 5 JDs
17% say 10-20 JDs
11% say 21-50 JDs
8% say more

Why Did They Pay?

24.8% say the paid to “facilitate or accelerate a legal document”
5.5% say they paid to facilitate an illegal document

28.5% say the document would’ve passed without the bribe
23.8% say it would not

Why Do Others Recieve?

52% say they believe those people do it to feed their families
35% say they believe those people do it to get rich

TI representative in Jordan, Bassem Sakijha said

â??that one of the main reasons for the growing percentage of small bribes specifically, is the prevalent bureaucracy within the public sector and the fact that public employees are underpaid and need to improve their living standards. The entire public sector needs to be reformed in order to ease the bureaucracy that is rampant and public employees should have their salaries improved in order not to have to accept bribesâ?

If we improved living standards and paid employees more would they be less inclined to ask and receive bribes?

Most Jordanians have given bribes in order to help move things along. It is in the same category of wasta (nepotism or connections). Most do it, in my opinion, because they feel that things are just unfair and this is the only way to accomplish anything.

When I went to get my Jordanian passport done last summer a young high class girl strolled right in while people were waiting by number for at least 2 hours, and she followed an elder man who probably works for her father. They careened from one window to the other, passing money here and there, dropping a famous name here and there. They were out in 15 minutes.

There’s nothing wrong with increasing standards of living and the wages of employees. As it stands the whole of the country has to pay taxes for the black holes of bureaucracy anyways. The playing field needs to be made even and people need to feel that others don’t have an advantage over them. If no one gets special treatment then things will be a lot better. But employees need to be monitored and a strict system needs to be imposed to achieve such a thing.


  • Jordan,,, relatively is not suffering from a serious problem in terms of bribery, compared to some Arabic Countries we are in heaven,,, I wish I can share some certain incidents, but I want anyone one from those countries to be offended,,,


  • Nas, I believe bribery is symptomatic of the cultural phenomenon of being ‘shatre’ (however one properly spells it phonetically).

    As long as it is considered more ‘clever’ to break a rule and get away with it than follow the rules for the good of the land, bribery is here to stay.

  • Intresting Nas..

    Well, i agree with Abu 7amarneh, but I think we should really stop comparing our selfâ??s to others if we want to improve.

    I mean, we have to look at a better example, besides bribery exists all over the world, so am sure theirs a country with a less percentage than us 🙂

Your Two Piasters: