annual corruption survey 2012

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annual corruption survey 2012
ANNUAL CORRUPTION SURVEY 2012
Corruption Risks in Court System and Business
Sector
Analytical Report
This study was made possible with the support of the American people through the U.S. Agency for International Development, specifically
through its Good Governance Activity in Montenegro. The author’s views expressed in this study do not necessarily reflect the views of the
United States Agency for International Development or the United States Government.
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This analytical report is based on findings from the second in a series of longitudinal studies,
which the East West Management Institute is implementing in Montenegro in cooperation with
CEDEM. During last year (2011), a study was carried out to identify key indicators, based on which
the measuring of the very degree of corruption has been carried out, several key areas of social and
economic life 1 . The fundamental idea of that study was to use the same methodology and
instruments to carry out a study, one year later, and to compare the obtained values, as well as to
extend the knowledge, in certain aspects, on specific corruption related problems, which are the
object of our interest. Since the study has been designed in this way, for conceptual reasons it is
important that certain key methodological remarks and findings, important for understanding the
data to be presented on the following pages, are repeated.
Firstly, the following are the sociological assumptions2, on which the entire concept was based,
and which are important for understanding the very phenomenon of corrupt behaviour, as well as
the corruption measurement data:
 Montenegro is a “small” country, in terms of the size of its population and territory
 The ruling party in Montenegro has not changed since the beginning of the process of
transition to the present day3
 Montenegro’s status as an independent state dates only six years back
 Cultural and historic particularities of Montenegro
When the study itself is in question, it is important to bear in mind the following remarks:
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The perception of corruption will be addressed by viewing it from multiple angles, with
methodological caution, that is, we will not address only the perception but also its origin
and the interpretation framework.
Through the study, we move a step further from the perception itself, that is, through study
we identify the very patterns of behaviour and practice that increase the possibility of
corrupt behaviour occurring.
The entire study has been explicitly designed in a way that based on it concrete measures
and instruments are proposed, to represent barriers against corruption in a functional way.
In order to achieve these goals, we have carried out three studies, the first, a study of the
viewpoints of the general public, second, study of the viewpoints of entrepreneurs and third,
study of the viewpoints of judges.
Finally, we applied two different methods with the same objectives, and those are the poll
method and individual interviews.
The notion of corruption in this study is strictly operational and it concerns the behavioural
practices, that is, we perceive corruption as:
1
Report: Corruption: practice, perception, experiences, 2011, East/West Institute & CEDEM
2
References to the importance and theoretic elaboration of these assumptions may be found in the last year’s
report: ibid.
3
Including recently Elections on Oktobar 14th
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Situations characteristic of the occurrence of corrupt behaviour
Negotiation process between the players in corruption activities
Mechanisms allowing for various types of abuse, which generate corruption
The dysfunctionality of the institutions, due to which occurrence of corruption is made
possible
Therefore, we may define our operational notion of corruption as those forms of behaviour
generated in typical situations, resulting in corruption activities in a certain negotiation process
between the players that happen due to the activation of certain mechanisms, which make
possible for abuse, facilitated by the dysfunctionality of the institutions of a society.
We can divide main findings into five categories:
Trust in institutions
Our findings indicate that citizens have the most trust in the religious confession they belong to,
followed by the educational and health systems and the President of Montenegro, while the least
amount of public trust is invested in large companies and political parties. Comparatively, and
cumulatively, we can clearly notice that this is a negative trend, so, this year, on average, citizens
place less trust in the institutions than last year. Individually, this negative trend is not present only in
the case of trust in the religious confession, President of Montenegro, educational system and
political parties, and a positive trend is recorded only in the case of the Armed Forces of
Montenegro. Finally, the most negative trend is recorded in the case of the Prime Minister and
NGOs.
The comparison of data on the experiences related to communication with the ministries , shows
that the structure has changed significantly, that is, while most of the previous year’s cases of
communication are related to administrative affairs, this year most of the cases represent some type
of business communication. Number of contacts with the ministries, with the objective of exercising
one’s rights, or in the case of complaints and pleas, has increased, while there was a decrease of
communication with the ministries, when it comes to credits, stipends and other forms of financial
support provided by the ministries.
Regarding the assessment of transparency of the court work, percentage of those pointing out
that they had full insight into the court procedures has increased symbolically, while the percentage
of citizens considering to have an insight into court procedures most of the time increased
significantly. Cumulatively, percentage of those considering to have had an insight into the court
procedures, to different degrees, is almost ¾ and complementary, the percentage of those citizens
claiming to have had no insight into the court procedures, to different digrees, has decreased
Key information, regarding the assessment of efficiency of courts, is that a significantly larger
number of participants in the poll gave a positive mark to the efficiency of courts, compared to the
last year’s study, especially the “very pleased” portion of participants. However, although the
number of those citizens giving a negative remark to the work of the courts has decreased,
proportionally, their number is still relatively high, at about 40%.
Evaluating transparency in the work of the local authorities, most of the citizens points out that
they have insight into the work of the local authorities “most of the time”, and cumulatively, the
number of those having this insight, to a lesser or larger degree, is significantly higher than the
number of those who have no insight at all. However, observed from the aspect of a trend, we record
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negative trends, or more precisely, oposite a little more than ¼ of citizens who assessed they had no
insight into the work of the local authorities, in the previous study, stand 35% participants in the poll,
of that same category, in this year’s study.
Participation and activism
When it comes to the interest in politics, it is “moderate” and the values are at the same level as
in the last year’s study 4. Every tenth citizen displays great interest in politics, with a third of citizens
who are somewhat interested. A little more than every fourth participant in the poll is not really
interested, and it is interesting that the number of those showing no interest in politics exactly
matches the election abstinence percentage.
When measuring the non-conventional political participation, we measure the highest level of
readiness when it comes to signing a petition, followed by participation in protests and boycotts and
submitting complaints to the competent authorities. However, except when petitions are in
question, citizens mostly express readiness to participate but do not engage in all forms of
participation. When data is summed up, measuring readiness and participation itself and if this data
is compared to data from 2011, it is interesting to note that this year’s data does not divert from the
last year’s, when it comes to petitions, strikes and protests, although, during the previous period the
practice of engaging in such activities did exist, especially referring to the protests organised by
MANS. On the other hand, citizens show less readiness to participate in political life through the
media and NGOs, in comparison to last year. It seems that an increased level of political activity by
newspapers and NGOs has generated this effect.
The same as last year, small number of citizens submitted a request to one of the institutions for
free access to information. However, again similar to last year’s study, a very large number of citizens
expressed the standpoint that they have not submitted such a request but that they could do it. A
little more than 15% of citizens (a bit more than during last year’s study), said that they would not do
it.
Viewpoints on the judiciary and judges
In the assessment of the efficiency of courts, it is interesting that the number of those
considering the judiciary as very efficient has increased but also of those considering it highly
inefficient, with the second group being proportionately much larger. On the other hand, the number
of those considering the judiciary mostly efficient has decreased significantly and slightly decreased
is the number of those considering it mostly inefficient. Cumulatively, again, there is division of
viewpoints, so that every other citizen considers the judiciary more or less efficient and, equally,
every other citizen considers it more or less inefficient.
Evaluating the work of the administrative personnel, as well as in terms of it being in accordance
with the law, the distribution of standpoints is similar to the evaluation of judges. Majority of the
citizens considers that the administrative personnel work mostly abiding according to the law but the
number of citizens in this category has decreased compared to the last year’s study, with the
4
Validity of this piece of data has special value, since the study has been carried out immediately before the
announcement of the parliamentary elections, which, naturally, generates a higher degree of public interest in
politics
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percentage of those stating the administrative personnel are fully abiding by the law in their work
being almost identical compared to last year, which cumulatively leads to the number of those
considering that the administrative personnel is more or less abiding by the law decreasing and,
consequently, to the increase in the number of those considering the administrative personnel are
more or less not abiding by the law but by some other criteria (cumulatively, every third participant
in the poll).
Experiences with administration
In the evaluation of their experience with the procedure of obtaining a construction permit,
there is the largest number of those qualifying their experience as mostly positive, but, compared to
the last year’s study, the number of participants in the poll in this category has been significantly
reduced. Although the number of those qualifying this experience as very positive has increased, the
total number of participants in this category is proportionally small. However, the most indicative
piece of data is that the number of participants who had negative experience with obtaining a
construction permit has increased, with the number of those with mostly negative experiences has
increased symbolically, but the number of “very negative” evaluations has increased significantly.
Cumulatively, almost every other participant in the poll reported a negative experience, to varying
degrees.
We also detect a negative trend when citizens are evaluating the explanation provided by the
competent authorities in the process of obtaining a construction permit. Cumulatively, almost 55% of
the participants in the poll more or less consider that they have not been given sufficient explanation
from the competent services in the process of obtaining a construction permit.
Viewpoints, perception and experiences with corruption
With a slightly increased percentage of perception of corruption, we also detect negative trends
when it comes to public services, that is, the number has increased of the participants in the poll
considering that, in terms of bribe and corruption, a large number of and/or all civil servants are
involved in it so that, cumulatively, there are more than 45% of these two categories.
From the evaluation of whether it is probable or not that money needs to be offered or favours
to certain categories of civil servants, we conclude that negative trends occurred, that is, citizens
consider that money/favours need to be offered to each individual category of civil servants to a
higher degree than in the last year’s study. Comparatively, majority of participants in the poll
consider that health workers/doctors, customs clerks and inspectors need to be offered
money/favours. They are followed by police officers, judges/court clerks, tax collectors and
employees in the municipal services. In the end, in the opinion of the participants, money/favours
need to be offered to a lesser degree to members of local parliaments, members of state Parliament
and to the least degree to teachers and professors.
In the opinion of the participants in the poll, the key reason for the inefficiency of the fight
against corruption is the inefficiency of the police in this fight. In this aspect, the number has
increased of participants naming this reason as key. Second reason in significance is the inefficient
judiciary and in this aspect the number of participants has slightly increased compared to last year.
We detect a negative trend only in the evaluation of the shortcomings of the legislation, while all
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other reasons are less prominent in comparison to last year. Thos other reasons, in which we detect
a trend of dropping values, are firstly the lack of political will, lack of interest in citizens to fight
corruption, so, as the participants evaluated, citizens are far readier to fight corruption this year than
the last. Also, a smaller number of participants today consider that the reasons are rooted habits
than was the case last year. Finally, the complexity of the management and other procedures are the
least of reasons, but we detect a slight negative trend in this aspect compared to the previous study.
Majority of the participants in the poll, of those that stated they would report on cases of
corruption, would report on them to the police, with the number of citizens belonging to this
category increasing in comparison to last year. The second institution the citizens would address is
the Directorate for Anti-Corruption Initiative, but, compared to last year, the number of citizens who
would report on corruption to this institution has decreased significantly. All other institutions would
be the choice of participants to a lesser degree, with the detection of a positive trend when it comes
to the Court.
In this study, the participants are unanimous in naming three reasons for not reporting on cases
of corruption: lack of trust in the system in terms that there would be an official inquiry of a reported
case, difficulties in proving the existence of corruption and fear from the consequences of reporting a
case. Being a reason to a smaller degree is that the reporting of such cases is not considered
culturally and morally acceptable behaviour. From the aspect of trend, all these reasons are more or
less at the same level as in the last year’s study. However, the trend is still negative since two times
more citizens than last year (every tenth citizen) point out that they do not know to whom to report
on corruption.
Comparison with previous reporting period (2011)
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Overall perception of corruption in the study is at a higher level than last year
The number has increased of the participants in the poll considering that, when it comes to
bribe/corruption: large number and/or all civil servants are involved in it, so that,
cumulatively, there is more than 45% of those belonging to these two categories
Influencing the perception of corruption the most is informal communication, that is, what
the participants in the poll hear from people they trust
From the evaluation of whether it is probable or not that money needs to be offered or
favours to certain categories of civil servants, we conclude that negative trends occurred,
that is, citizens consider that money/favours need to be offered to each individual category
of civil servants to a higher degree than in the last year’s study
In the opinion of the participants in the poll, the key reason for the inefficiency of the fight
against corruption is the inefficiency of the police in this fight. In this aspect, the number has
increased of participants naming this reason as key
When establishing the payment of taxes, more than ¾ of citizens point out that they had no
negative, corruption related experiences and a relatively small number of them stated they
used blood relation connections or offered money/services
When it comes to giving an offer in the process of public advertising, more than 2/3 of
participants in the poll had no corruption related experiences, which is less than last year
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When it comes to exercising the right to pension, compensations and various forms of aid,
although, again, almost ¾ of the participants in the poll point out they had no corruption
related experiences, every tenth participant state they used connections and/or
acquaintances to this purpose
In customs procedures as well, measured values are at the level of the last year’s study, with
a proportionally small number of participants in the poll reporting on corrupt behaviour,
which is still slightly larger than in the last year’s study
A little more than 2/3 of the participants in the poll did not report on any kind of negative
corruption related experience in court procedures
In the procedures involving municipal authorities there is still a relatively small number of
participants reporting direct corrupt behaviour, but already the number of participants
reporting on using connections to this end amounts to 13%
In the case of the activities of inspection authorities as well, although a small number of
participants report on cases of nepotism and corrupt behaviour, we detect slightly negative
trends when it comes to nepotism
Majority of participants blame both sides equally, and in this aspect the total number of
participants in this category has increased compared to the last year’s study
More than 1/3 of the participants expressed readiness to report on corruption if they found
out about such a case
Majority of the participants in the poll, of those that stated they would report on cases of
corruption, would report on them to the police, with the number of citizens belonging to this
category increasing in comparison to last year
In this study, the participants are unanimous in naming three reasons for not reporting on
cases of corruption: lack of trust in the system in terms that there would be an official inquiry
of a reported case, difficulties in proving the existence of corruption and fear from the
consequences of reporting a case and, to a smaller degree, that the reporting of such cases is
not considered culturally and morally acceptable behaviour
Evaluating the degree to which corruption is present in certain institutional segments of
society, in every individual case (except in high education), citizens have assessed that
corruption is more present this year than last
Measuring trust in institutions, it is indicative that citizens have the most trust in the religious
confession they belong to, followed by the educational and health systems and the President
of Montenegro, while the least amount of public trust is invested in large companies and
political parties. Comparatively, and cumulatively, we can clearly notice that this is a negative
trend, so, this year, on average, citizens place less trust in the institutions than last year
In a smaller number of cases this year citizens had the chance of getting in contact with one
of the Ministries, as compared to the year before, or cumulatively, a little more than every
tenth citizen had some experience with one or more ministries. While most of the previous
year’s cases of communication are related to administrative affairs, this year most of the
cases represent some type of business communication. Number of contacts with the
ministries, with the objective of exercising one’s rights, or in the case of complaints and
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pleas, has increased, while there was a decrease of communication with the ministries, when
it comes to credits, stipends and other forms of financial support provided by the ministries
Regarding the transparency of the work of ministries the cumulative percentage of those
who had an insight into the ministry procedures, fully or most of the time, is above 2/3 of the
participants in the poll
The total number of those giving a more or less positive mark for the efficiency of ministries
is around 55% and as far as this aspect goes we cannot say there is a difference compared to
last year
Regarding the type of business the poll participants had with the ministries, those engaging
in business communication with the ministries were the happiest. The most negative marks
for efficiency the ministries got in the aspect of complaints, objections and requests for
exercising certain rights and there are also negative trends in this aspect, compared to the
last year
Identifying the reasons for the inefficiency of the ministries most of the participants in the
poll have labelled slowness, inertia, recklessness and wilfulness as the reasons for
inefficiency and the percentage of participants in this category has increased significantly
compared to the last year’s study
In this study, symbolically increased is the number of citizens pointing out that they had
insight into the work of courts, to varying degrees, and almost ¾ of participants in the poll
belong to this category
Regarding the assessment of efficiency of courts, a significantly larger number of participants
in the poll gave a positive mark to the efficiency of courts, compared to the last year’s study.
However, although the number of those citizens giving a negative remark to the work of the
courts has decreased, proportionally, their number is still relatively high, at about 40%
Assessing the reasons for the inefficiency of courts, most of the participants in the poll, as in
the previous study, states that the problem lies in the slowness of courts, inertia, sloppiness,
recklessness and wilfulness
Evaluating transparency in the work of the local authorities, most of the citizens points out
that they have insight into the work of the local authorities “most of the time”, and
cumulatively, the number of those having this insight, to a lesser or larger degree, is
significantly higher than the number of those who have no insight at all
The number of those considering that municipal services are very efficient has somewhat
increased, but the number of those considering that the local authorities are mostly efficient
decreased proportionally, with, cumulatively, the number of those giving a positive mark to
the efficiency of the local authorities is around 55%
Assessing the reasons for the inefficiency of the local authorities, most of the participants in
the poll see slowness, inertia, sloppiness, recklessness and wilfulness of the civil servants as
primary reasons, and we also record some negative trends in this aspect
Through study we have detected a negative trend in terms of trusting information obtained
via TV and an especially negative trend regarding trust in information obtained from daily
press
More than 90% of citizens are prepared to file a law suit if their interests are jeopardised
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When it comes to the reasons for not filing a law suit we detect a negative trend and the key
reason is the lack of trust in the judiciary and other institutions
The same as last year, small number of citizens submitted a request to one of the
institutions for free access to information. The key reason for the citizens opting not to use
the possibilities offered by the Law on Free Access to Information is the lack of trust in the
institutions and the conviction that they would not be provided with information they
requested. This value is also significantly higher than last year
Number of those having a mostly negative attitude but also those with a very negative
attitude towards the judiciary, so that, cumulatively, every other participant in the poll has a
more or less negative attitude towards the judiciary
It interesting that the number of those considering the judiciary very efficient has increased
but also of those considering it highly inefficient, with the second group being
proportionately much larger. Cumulatively, again, there is division of viewpoints, so that
every other citizen considers the judiciary more or less efficient and, equally, every other
citizen considers it more or less inefficient
When it comes to the criteria used in judges’ rulings, there is an increased number of
participants in the poll giving a negative mark, compared to last year, and this, generally,
represents a mildly negative trend
As key reasons due to which the judges are not abiding by the law in their work, the citizens
state politics and political pressure, nepotism and bribe and corruption and trend is negative
in this aspect as well
Majority of the citizens considers that the administrative personnel work mostly according to
the law but the number of citizens in this category has decreased compared to the last year’s
study, with the percentage of those stating the administrative personnel are fully abiding by
the law in their work being almost identical compared to last year
Key reasons for the standpoint that the administrative personnel are not abiding by the law
in their work, based on the opinions of the participants in the poll, is the same as for the
evaluation of judges – nepotism, political pressure and bribe/corruption and trend is
negative in this aspect as well
Majority of citizens involved in civil cases were obtaining information on the schedule of
hearings via mail, and then from the authorised court clerk
More than every other citizen points out that courts have mostly honoured the established
time schedule, with the increasing number of those stating that courts have fully honoured
the time schedule
The highest, and an almost identical number of participants in the poll as last year (over
70%), points out that they have not been asked for anything, any kind of favour or bribe, in
order to resolve a case to their benefit
Majority of the participants in the poll, during this study, has been involved in criminal cases
due to violent behaviour, and this percentage is significantly higher in comparison to last
year. On the other hand, significantly lower is the number of criminal cases, in which our
participants were involved, with a traffic offence as case subject
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Majority of the participants in the poll received the case related documentation via mail, but
this percentage is significantly lower than last year
In the opinion of the majority of participants in the poll, the courts have mostly honoured the
established time schedule processing their cases and in this aspect the number of
participants in the poll in this category has increased significantly
When it comes to corrupt behaviour in criminal cases, there is by far the largest number of
participants in the poll (only marginally smaller compared to last year) who state that they
were asked for nothing and that everything was regular. However, what is concerning is that
almost one in every ten participants have reported that they have been asked for money or a
favour in order for a case to be resolved to their benefit
In the evaluation of their experience with the procedure of obtaining a construction permit,
there is the largest number of those qualifying their experience as mostly positive, but,
compared to the last year’s study, the number of participants in the poll in this category has
been significantly reduced
The most important reasons for bad experience in the procedure of obtaining a construction
permit, in this the same as in the last year’s study, are slowness, inertia, sloppiness,
recklessness and wilfulness in the procedure of issuing a permit
Although cumulatively, more or less the largest number of participants in the poll assessed
that they had no problems receiving information necessary for obtaining a construction
permit, we detected negative trends in this aspect
Most of the participants in the poll assessed that the competent services were mostly
efficient in the process of issuing construction permits but trends in this aspect are negative
Almost 55% of the participants in the poll more or less consider that they have not been
given sufficient explanation from the competent services in the process of obtaining a
construction permit and trend is negative in this aspect
More than 40% of the participants gave a positive mark to the time necessary to obtain a
construction permit and this item is at the level of the last year’s study
Although the largest number of participants in the poll points out that nothing has been
asked from them, this category is significantly smaller in size than in the last year’s study. On
the other hand, this too is an important piece of data, there has been a significant increase in
the number of citizens stating that they have been asked for money/favours with a slight
increase in the number of those pointing out that nothing has been asked of them but who
consider that if they offered money/favours to the competent persons, they would have got
the permit more easily
When it comes to experiences with tenders we detect negative trends, that is, the number of
participants giving a positive mark to experiences with tenders has dropped significantly
Although a prevalent majority of more than 70% of citizens points out that they have
obtained tender related information very easily or more or less without problems, we detect
negative trends in this aspect
The number of those giving positive and negative remarks to the efficiency of the competent
authorities in tender procedures is approximately the same, however, the number of those
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giving a positive remark to the efficiency, to varying degrees, has dropped significantly and
the number of those giving a negative remark has also decreased
Based on the citizens’ evaluation of the explanations they were given by the competent
services in tender procedures we detect negative trends, with doubled the number of those
considering that the competent authorities more failed to provide the necessary
explanations than not
In the evaluation of the time needed to provide the participants in the poll with information
on decisions made in relation to tenders, although we detect a slightly negative trend, still
the prevalent majority consider that the information on the results of tender reached them
in a more or less short period of time
More than every tenth participant in the poll has reported that they were asked for
money/favours in order to make them winners of a tender. The increase of the number of
participants in this category is proportionally low; however, there has been a significant
increase in the number of citizens who were not asked for anything but who believe that if
they offered something they would have won the tender more easily
When it comes to experience with the oversight of enterprises by state inspections, we
detect mildly positive trends, that is, in this year’s study we have a larger number of
participants in the poll marking this experience positively, in comparison to last year and
their number amounts to around 2/3 of participants
As key reasons for negative experiences with the inspection authorities, citizens name
bribe/corruption/nepotism, and the percentage of those who had this experience is
significantly higher than in the last year’s study
When it comes to information on the performance of the inspection authorities,
cumulatively, a larger number of participants in the poll gave a positive mark compared to
those who gave a negative one, but trend is negative
Around 62% of citizens gave a positive mark to the efficiency of the inspection authorities
and these values are at the level of last year
Most of the citizens have been provided the explanation on how decisions are made in the
process of inspection oversight mostly or fully and values in this aspect are at the same level
as last year
In the evaluation of time necessary for the inspection authority to perform the inspection
and make a decision, every fourth citizen has expressed discontent, whether by saying they
have waited for a long time whether by complaining of not being informed on the decision at
all and trend is stable
More than 2/3 of the participants in the poll pointed out that during the inspection oversight
no money has been asked from them or favours but this percentage is lower compared to
the last year’s study
Results from previous study were mostly confirmed which points at consistency of the
problem in the judiciary system and business sector when speaking about corrupt behavior.
Besides that, almost identical order of aforementioned problems with same ranking show
that very little progress was made in solving them compared to previous period.
Judges, who were observed as representatives of public sector in this study, have
significantly different perception of dimension of problem of corrupt behavior. Unlike
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lawyers and entrepreneurs who have many examples for this type of behavior and who think
it is the dominating force in the judiciary system, judges tend to distort the problem,
although they admit too that it is possible there are such cases. On their opinion, corruption
is not one of top priority problems in the judiciary system, but they find working
environment and organization of work more important.
For representatives of business sector, corrupt behavior is something they meet on a daily
basis. In almost cynical way, couple of persons interviewed explained that it practically
almost the only way to get things done. They, unlike judges and lawyers, don’t have a
problem with admitting that they themselves sometimes get involved in actions that could
be described as corrupt behavior, which points out how big corruption problem in business
is.
For the first time in interviews, the problem of political influence on the judiciary system has
explicitly showed up.
Judges from one side, and lawyers and entrepreneurs form the other have different view on
work of court administration. While until some extent everyone has some understanding for
bad working conditions and salaries in this administration, their view on whether this can be
a justification for the way most of them are doing their job is particularly various.
Miloš Bešić, PhD
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