Survey: Palestinians say nepotism still widespread

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — The Palestinian branch of a global anti-corruption group says more than 70 percent of Palestinians believe personal connections help getting access to public services and that nearly 90 percent have used them.

The survey was part of an annual corruption report by Aman, a branch of Transparency International. The poll had about 1,200 respondents in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The error margin was 2.8 percentage points.

Tuesday's report said some progress has been made in anti-corruption efforts despite the financial and political instability of the Palestinian Authority.

However, it says conditions remained stagnant or deteriorated in many governmental institutions, in part because there's no effective parliament and the Palestinian president has mounting unilateral authority.

The report says a bloated civil service contributed to a waste of public funds.