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Corruption Research
   2002
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Corruption indexes of Coalition 2000
October 2002

SURVEY METODOLOGY
CORRUPTION INDEXES
CHIEF PROBLEMS FACED BY BULGARIA
ATTITUDES TOWARDS CORRUPTION
CORRUPT PRACTICES
ASSESSMENT OF THE SPREAD OF CORRUPTION
CORRUPTION EXPECTATIONS

          

SURVEY METODOLOGY

Sample
National representative survey of the population covering 1079 respondents aged 18 and over.

Survey period Sample
February, 1999 1143
April, 1999 1122
September, 1999 1110
January, 2000 1144
April, 2000 1161
September, 2000 1158
January, 2001 1037
October, 2001 971
January, 2002 1148
May, 2002 1170

Survey method
The survey used the method of face-to-face interview.

Field work
The field work was conducted in the period September 28, 2002 - October 12, 2002


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CORRUPTION INDEXES

  • Corruption indexes are among the important outputs of the Corruption Monitoring System (CMS) of Coalition 2000. Their values are being updated quarterly on the basis of regular CMS surveys.
  • 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 evaluated aspects of the corruption in the country.
  • Index numbers close to 0 indicate approximation to the ideal of a “corruption-free” society.

  • Corruption indexes have been grouped into several categories:

    - Attitudes towards corruption;
    - Corrupt practices;
    - Assessment of the spread of corruption;
    - Corruption-related practices.

CHIEF PROBLEMS FACED BY BULGARIA

TABLE 1. CHIEF PROBLEMS FACED BY BULGARIA

Public sensitivity to the problem of corruption has been declining steadily since the beginning of the current year. The share of those citing corruption as the greatest problem faced by Bulgarian society have dropped by nearly 15 points compared to July 2002.

Since the remaining key problems of transition such as unemployment, poverty, low standard of living retain the same importance, there could be at least two possible explanations for the emerging trend. First, corrupt practices in this country are decreasing, which has let to a change in popular attitudes. Secondly, the spread of corruption has already come to be perceived as ”normal” and no longer elicits strong public reactions. There has also been a slight, but steady, increase in the share of those who believe that political instability and the ineffective economy are posing a problem to the country.

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ATTITUDES TOWARDS CORRUPTION

Acceptability in principle

The index reflects to the extent to which various corrupt practices are tolerated within the value system.

This index has remained relatively stable, but reached higher values in October 2002. Nevertheless, the values of the acceptability in principle index have consistently been among the lowest registered ever since the beginning of the regular monitoring of corruption. In turn, this is indicative of the firmly established moral rejection of corrupt practices and their perception as socially inadmissible.

FIGURE 1. ACCEPTABILITY IN PRINCIPLE

Susceptibility to corruption

The index measures citizens’ inclination to compromise on their values and principles under the pressure of circumstances.
The susceptibility to corruption is nearly twice as high as the acceptability in principle of corrupt practices. This comes to confirm that corrupt behavior is still largely sustained by the pressure of everyday life and the pragmatic interests of the parties involved in corruption. Nevertheless, the index values are relatively low and have stabilized at a more or less constant level.

FIGURE 2. SUSCEPTABILITY TO CORRUPTION

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CORRUPT PRACTICES

Corruption pressure

This index measures the spread of attempts by public sector employees to exert direct or indirect pressure on citizens in order to obtain money, gifts, or favors
This considerable drop in the index value characteristics of the previous period monitored has been offset by its increase in October 2002. This is indicative of the inconstant nature of the demonstrations of open coercion on the part of public sector employees. In this sense, the factors shaping the behavior of public officials are situationally determined and tend to have a variable, intermittent impact. The fluctuations of this index are indirect evidence that the measures taken to curb corruption generally do not have a lasting effect.

FIGURE 3. CORRUPTION PRESSURE

TABLE 2. “IF IN THE COURSE OF THE PAST YEAR YOU HAVE BEEN ASKED FOR SOMETHING IN ORDER TO HAVE A PROBLEM OF YOURS SOLVED, YOU WERE ASKED BY:

The findings of the survey conducted in October 2002 reveal several perceptible shifts in the ranking of the professional groups most typically exerting corruption pressure
With their inclusion in the October 2002 survey, the professional group of the lawyers immediately look up one of the leading position among those with corruptive influence. In view of the increased corruption pressure attributed in 2002 to prosecutes and judges, the representatives of the judicial system are emerging as the principle agents of corruption. There has also been a significant increase in the corruptive pressure attributed to police officers, which comes close to the levels registered in 2000. There has been a slight intensification of the corruptive pressure exerted by municipal officials, mayors and municipal council members, university professors and school teachers. A drop has been registered as regards to customs officers, ministry officials, and members of parliament.

Corrupt practices

The index reflects the reported involvement of respondents in various forms of corrupt behavior, i. e. the actual number of acts of corruption in the past three months.
This is practically the index with the lowest values of all included in the study. Compared to May 2002, there has been a slight increase, which, however, does not affect significantly the general trend. The approximate number of acts of corruption in the past month was 125,000. Although the current year has been marked by a tendency towards decline in index values, their fluctuations throughout the period monitored have been substantial and still do not provide sufficient grounds to assume that there has been a lasting curbing of corrupt practices.

FIGURE 4. CORRUPT PRACTICES

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ASSESSMENTS OF THE SPREAD OF CORRUPTION

Spread of corruption

In October 2002 the estimated spread of corruption marked one of its highest values ever since the beginning of the monitoring of corruption, reaching the level of September 1999. Set against the previous period monitored, the index rose by nearly 8 points. Presumably, the increased share of those who have experienced corruption pressure in turn amplifies the estimated spread of corruption within the respective occupation groups in the public sector. Public opinion has also been affected by several corruption-related public scandals that received extensive media coverage.

FIGURE 5. SPREAD OF CORRUPTION

FACTORS INFLUENCING THE SPREAD OF CORRUPTION

TABLE 3. MAJOR FACTOR ACCOUNTING FOR THE SPREAD OF CORRUPTION IN THE COUNTRY (%)

Factors Influencing the Spread of Corruption

Even in October 2002, the desire for fast enrichment of “those in power” continued to be perceived as the foremost corruption-generating factor. Â In public consciousness the holding of high public office appears permanently associated with abuse and improper personal gain.
It is noteworthy that the impact of the factor “inefficiency of the judicial system” marked a significant increase compared to May 2002 and reached its peak for the period January 2000 – October 2002. The reverse process, though less pronounced, appeared with the estimated impact of imperfect legislation.
It is noteworthy that the impact of the factor “inefficiency of the judicial system” marked a significant increase compared to May 2002 and reached its peak for the period January 2000 – October 2002. The reverse process, though less pronounced, appeared with the estimated impact of imperfect legislation.

TABLE 4. “ACCORDING TO YOU, HOW WIDESPREAD IS CORRUPTION AMONG THE FOLLOWING GROUPS:

Spread of Corruption among Professional Groups

In October 2002 there appeared an increase in the estimated spread of corruption in nearly all professional groups. For many of the groups the data registered were the highest since the beginning of the monitoring of corruption. The largest increase, compared to May 2002, was marked by the assessments of the spread of corruption among members of parliament, political party and coalition leaders, ministers and municipal officials. Customs officers again came out on top of the rating of the most corrupt occupations, followed by the representatives of the judicial system..
Notwithstanding a slight increase, according to Bulgarian citizens, corruption remains least widespread among the representatives of non-governmental organizations, journalists, and teachers.

TABLE 5. SPREAD OF CORRUPTION AMONG INSTITUTIONS

Institutional spread corruption

In May 2002 the methodology of data gathering as regards the spread of corruption in the institutions was modified. Nevertheless the structure of the state agencies and institutions perceived as most corrupt did not change significantly.
In people’s minds corruption was again found to be most widespread in customs, in the top ranks of the legislative and executive branches of power, the judicial system, healthcare, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs. More specifically, the state institution perceived as the most corrupt was the Privatization Agency.
There appeared a decline in the share of the respondents who do not think there is any corruption in the domestic media. Though slightly, public trust in the media was found to have dropped, more tangibly with regard to the press and the Bulgarian National Television.

Practical effectiveness of corruption

This index shows citizens’ assessments of the extent to which corruption is becoming an efficient means of addressing personal problems.
The general increase observed with all the remaining corruption indexes has also affected the practical efficiency index values. The latest findings break off the tendency towards decline of this index that had begun in January 2001. This suggests the conclusion that the temporary favorable changes in the social environment have not proved stable enough to have an impact in terms of a lasting transformation of the popular assumption that corrupt practices constitute an efficient means of addressing practical problems.

FIGURE 6. PRACTICAL EFFICIENCY OF CORRUPTION

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CORRUPTION EXPECTATIONS

This index registers assessments of the capability (potential) of Bulgarian society to cope with corruption..
The lowest value of this index throughout the monitoring registered in October 2001 has been countered by the subsequent rise observed since the beginning of 2002..
The index values resumed their former steady levels, after a period of high hopes and expectations for the curbing of corruption associated with the Government of Simeon Sax-Coburg-Gotha. This reasserts the need for new social practices and essentially new regulatory mechanisms of tackling the problem that should at once be legitimate, morally acceptable, and practically effective. Otherwise such periods of high expectations and subsequent disappointment with the results achieved will inevitably produce skeptical opinions as to the potential of Bulgarian society to limit the spread of corruption.

FIGURE 7. CORRUPTION EXPECTATIONS

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