Does the public trust the institutions of defence and security to tackle the issue of bribery and corruption in their establishments?
Denmark score: NS/100
The public view the defence establishment as entirely indifferent to corruption within it, or as clearly corrupt, without the political will to tackle the problem.
The public view is that bribery and corruption are not, according to official rhetoric, acceptable to the defence establishment, but there is a widely-held belief that this is just that: rhetoric, and not seriously intended.
The public view is that bribery and corruption, though not acceptable to the defence establishment, is insufficiently addressed by the measures in place to tackle the problem.
This indicator is not scored. Please discuss conditions in the country context related to good practice (Score 4).
The public view is that there is a clear commitment from the defence establishment that bribery and corruption are not acceptable and must be prosecuted, and that their efforts to tackle the problem are sincere and effective.
This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.
Denmark scores highly on Transparency International’s annual survey on corruption perception . However, there is evidence that generally the Danish public has been shaken by a long list of cases of fraud, misuse, corruption and mismanagement within the public domain during the last couple of years. First, Denmark dropped on the perception index in 2019 . Second, opinion polls show that nearly 75% of the population has developed more distrust towards the public authorities after cases of fraud within The Danish Customs and Tax Administration (SKAT) and The National Board of Social Services (Socialstyrelsen) . Third, other surveys reinforce this picture: there is a downward moving trend of public confidence in the Danish Parliament where almost 45% percent of population in 2017 mistrusted the Parliament . A national “barometer of trust (“tillid”)” confirms this tendency by reporting a drop in the public trust/confidence in public institutions . Specifically concerning the Defence, a recent pole indicates that the public trust in the Defence Command is very low. Compared to the institution with the most trust (the Police) with a score of 31, the Defence Command scores only 4 . However, compared to the score of the Danish Customs and Tax Administration of -30, 4 seems less dire. In another survey, when asked about trust in specific staff groups of the public sphere, soldiers scored 3.64 out of 5 while civil servants scored 3 of 5 and politicians only 2.12 out of 5 (the lowest of all) . All this indicates that there is a general lack of public trust/confidence in public institutions and this trend is worsening. This seems to be caused by the large number of recent cases of fraud and mismanagement within the public domain. The same is true specifically regarding the defence domain, where trust is low. However, soldiers still enjoy credibility, while politicans and civil servants are seen as far less credible. This can be interpreted as a general mistrust of the Defence as an institution and as a part of the larger public domain. As some cases of accusations of nepotism and fraud within the Defence are still being investigated, and more cases are expected to become exposed , we may predict a further drop in the public trust. However, in relation to the specific case of fraud in the Ministry of Defence Estate Agency, the Minister of Defence has acted instantly and rather assertively. The eventual outcome of this effort may influence how the public perceives the Defence’s ability to tackle issues of corruption, fraud and misuse of public funds. The fact that cases are being prosecuted may also help to improve the trust.
1. Transparency International, ”Corruption Perception Index 2019”, accessed 04 March 2020, https://www.transparency.org/cpi2019
2. Ritzau, ”Danskernes tillid til myndigheder falder efter svindelsager [The Danes’ trust in authorities drops after cases of fraud]”, TV2, 19 October 2018, accessed 04 March 2020, https://nyheder.tv2.dk/samfund/2018-10-19-danskernes-tillid-til-myndigheder-falder-efter-svindelsager
3. Diana Bengtsen, “Tæt på hver anden dansker stoler ikke på Folketinget [Almost every second Dane does not trust the Danish Parliament]”, DR, 11 May 2019, accessed 04 March 2020, https://www.dr.dk/nyheder/politik/folketingsvalg/taet-paa-hver-anden-dansker-stoler-ikke-paa-folketinget
4. PWC, ”Tillidsbarometeret 2019 [Barometer of trust 2019]”, September 2019, accessed 04 March 2020, https://www.pwc.dk/da/publikationer/2019/tillidsbarometer-2019.pdf
5. Radius, “Troværdighedsanalysen 2019 [The credibility analysis 2019]”, , accessed 04 March 2020, http://radiuscph.dk/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/trovaerdighedsanalysen.pdf
6. Interviewee 4, Journalist, 26 February 2020
7. YouGov, “Hvilke offentlige organisationer har vi størst tillid til? [Which public institutions do we trust the most?],” 26 February 2020, accessed 04 March 2020 https://yougov.dk/news/2020/02/26/hvilke-offentlige-organisationer-har-vi-storst-til/
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