COALITION 2000

Corruption
Monitoring System

Sofia, July 1998

CONTENT
  • METHODOLOGY
  • CORRUPTION INDICES
  • CORRUPTION INDICES: STRUCTURE AND INTERPRETATION
  • THE SOCIAL MEANING OF CORRUPTION INDICES
  • VALUES OF CORRUPTION INDICES
  • CONCLUSIONS
  • SUMMARY: THE CORRUPTION INDICES OF COALITION 2000
  • METHODOLOGY AND DESIGN
  • Corruption Monitoring System (PDF Format) - 225Kb

    COALITION 2000
    CORRUPTION INDICES

    METHODOLOGY

    The corruption indices are constructed based on survey data of Vitosha Research with the Center for the Study of Democracy and are among the basic output results of the Corruption Monitoring System (CMS).

    The development of the CMS began with the first quantitative survey on corruption in March 1997. In the period till September 1998 a total of 5 quantitative and 4 qualitative surveys have been conducted.

    Based on the experience gained, in the period July-September 1998 the first surveys (2 quantitative and 3 qualitative) of the CMS have been conducted. The present issue of the Corruption Indices of Coalition 2000 is based on these recent surveys.

    The methodology of the CMS envisions periodic monitoring of a set of indicators characterizing the way in which citizens and public sector employees perceive corruption and also their involvement in different forms of corrupt practices.

    CORRUPTION INDICES

    Corruption indices are among the important outputs of the Corruption Monitoring System (CMS) of Coalition 2000. Their values will be updated quarterly based on survey data.

    Corruption assessment index numbers assume values from 0.10.

    The closer the value of the index is to 10, the more negative are the assessments of the state of corruption. Index numbers closer to 0 indicate approximation to the ideal of a "corruption-free" society.

    Corruption indices have been grouped into several categories:

    . Attitudes towards corruption;

    . Corrupt practices;

    . Assessments of the scope of corruption;

    . Corruption-related expectations.

    CORRUPTION INDICES: STRUCTURE AND INTERPRETATION

    1. Attitudes
    Acceptability in Principle Indicates the level of moral acceptance of various
    corrupt practices. 
    Susceptibility to corruption Measures the inclination to compromise on
    values and principles under the pressure of circumstances.
    2. Corrupt Practices
    Corruptionpressure Indicates the frequency of attempts to corrupt
    public officials

    Personal involvement in
    corrupt practices

    Self-assessment / admission of the frequency of
    involvement in different forms of corrupt
    behavior
    3. Assessments
    of the spread
    of corrupt
    practices
    Spread of corruption Indicates citizens' assessments of the spread of
    corrupt practices among public officials
    Practical effectiveness Indicates citizens' assessments of the extent to
    which corruption is becoming an efficient tool of
    solving personal problems and a social norm of behavior.
    4. Corruption Expectations
    Expectations with corruption Assessment of the potential of Bulgarian society to cope .

    THE SOCIAL MEANING OF CORRUPTION INDICES

    Corruption indices provide an approximation about the scope and the aspects of corruption based on the assessments of citizens and public officials. These assessments are the starting point for their practical behavior and the way they perceive their social environment.

    Corruption indices could not be a base for making direct conclusions about the exact level of proliferation of corrupt practices.

    Closest to the dimension level of proliferation of corruption is the index of personal involvement in corrupt practices, as it is based on the anonymous admissions by respondents about their involvement in acts of corrupt behavior.

    To a certain extent the specific legal characteristics of corruption (that both sides act illegally) makes the index of personal involvement in corrupt practices one of the few realistic measures of the actual level of proliferation of corruption.

    Currently, the accuracy level of empirical survey estimates of the realities of corruption is substantially higher ó for obvious reasons ó in comparison with the available information from law enforcement institutions.

    VALUES OF CORRUPTION INDICES

    1. Attitudes towards corruption

    . Corruption is perceived as a social evil. There is a large measure of agreement among Bulgarians that corruption is unacceptable in principle.

    . Reality versus values.

    Susceptibility to corruption rises seriously when values are confronted with personal interest. People are inclined to compromise their principles because they do not see any other way of achieving their goals.

    . The low level of acceptability of corruption on the one hand, and the high level of susceptibility, on the other, together shape the following widely accepted practical philosophy concerning corruption: corruption is a necessary evil which in practice gets things done.

    Acceptability in principle Susceptibility to corruption

    Population Population Public officials

    2. Corrupt practices

    . Corruption is not the outcome of open coercion.

    Individual corruption pressure is relatively low. This suggests that in Bulgaria corrupt behavior is generated not so much by social pressure but, rather, by vested interest and necessity.

    Corruption pressure

    Population Public officials

    . Not everyone is personally involved in corruption.

    The index of corrupt practices is higher among public officials than among the population in general.

    The data show that the cases of participation in various forms of corrupt practices do not encompass the majority of the citizens.

    Personal involvement
    in corrupt practices

    Population Public officials

    3. Assessments of the spread of corrupt practices

    . Corrupt practices are perceived as widespread and commonplace.

    The Bulgarian public tends to perceive corruption as a widespread phenomenon which is about to turn into a social norm.

    Spread of corruption

    Population Public officials

    . Involvement in corrupt practices is socially successful.

    This value attitude coexists with the general view, confirmed on a daily basis, that corruption is in fact a highly efficient tool for solving personal problems.

    Practical effectiveness
    of corruption

    Population

    4. Corruption expectations

    . Corruption will be difficult to eliminate in the foreseeable future.

    With regard to the possibility for society to resolve the problem of corruption, Bulgarians are not resigned to the worst but rather tend to be moderately pessimistic.

    The value of the index suggests that Bulgarians could possibly change their future expectations in case the social environment succeeds in fostering legitimate mechanisms that would pay off better than those of corruption.

    Expectations


    Population

    CONCLUSIONS

    . The Bulgarian public regards corruption as one of the three most significant problems faced by our society.

    . There is broad consensus that corruption is a social evil.

    . Practical circumstances modify the basic intolerance of corruption and it comes to be perceived as a necessary evil.

    . The principle unacceptability of corruption is eroded by the deeply rooted belief that corrupt practices are highly effective in dealing with problematic situations.

    . Many people admit that when confronted with the reality of pressure and temptation they would compromise over their values. This choice is supported by the conviction that corruption is turning into a social norm.

    . The customs and tax administration, the judicial system, the central executive and the legislative branches of government, healthcare, the police, and the municipal administration are considered the main centers of corruption among public sector employees.

    . Citizens assess as quite high the extent to which our society has been infected with the virus of corruption. This pessimistic view is based on three popularly shared perceptions:

    . that corruption is widespread among public officials;

    . that it is a successful practice both for the corrupting and the corrupted;

    . that it is virtually unpunishable.

    . In mass consciousness there predominates the moderately optimistic attitude that corruption could be curbed, and that it is less widespread than could be expected in view of its being a successful and unpunishable social instrument.

    SUMMARY: THE CORRUPTION INDICES OF COALITION 2000



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    METHODOLOGY AND DESIGN

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