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Poll: Most say private sector uses bribes

BERLIN, June 3 (UPI) -- More than half of respondents to a global survey believe the private sector uses bribes to influence public policy, a German non-profit group says.

Transparency International said Wednesday its public opinion survey, the 2009 Global Corruption Barometer, surveyed respondents from 69 countries, most of whom also indicated they'd be willing to a premium to buy products from companies certified as corruption-free.

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"These results show a public sobered by a financial crisis precipitated by weak regulations and a lack of corporate accountability," said Transparency International Chair Huguette Labelle. "But we also see that the public is willing to actively support clean business. What is needed now is bold action by companies to continue strengthening their policies and practices, and to report more transparently on finances and interactions with government."

The non-governmental organization said its survey results also indicated that the poor are disproportionately burdened by bribe demands and that a majority believe corruption is rife in national governments.

TI said the Barometer draws from Gallup International's Voice of the People Survey and other survey work and reflects the responses of 73,132 people in 69 countries and territories, gathered between October 2008 and February 2009.

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