The results of public opinion polls conducted by KNAB over the last three years show that the negative reaction to corruption among the population and entrepreneurs is slightly hesitant, but overall consistent.
The opinion poll was carried out among 1047 people aged 18 and over and 401 companies conducting business in Latvia. The survey was carried out by the market and social research centre “Latvijas Fakti” on behalf of KNAB in the period from 10 October to 7 November 2023. The full results of the survey (in Latvian only) can be found here.
"The opinion poll reveals that the willingness of the population to bribe public officials has increased in 2023 compared to 2022, while the willingness of entrepreneurs to bribe public officials has decreased. Comparing the results of the survey in 2023 and in 2021, KNAB observed that over the period of three years there has been minimal change in the attitude of the population and entrepreneurs towards bribery and on average four out of five inhabitants and entrepreneurs do not tolerate bribery," said KNAB of the results.
The most common reason given by the population for possibility to offer a bribe is greater certainty that the issue will be addressed at all. This has been the main reason why people would choose to offer a bribe in all the periods analysed by KNAB.
"The opinion poll reveals a relatively consistent attitude among the population and entrepreneurs towards the use of informal solutions to deal with various issues. In the survey conducted in 2023, 19% of the population and 20% of entrepreneurs said they had used informal solutions in the last two years. Comparing the answers of respondents in 2023 and 2021, it can be concluded that the experience has not changed significantly over the three-year period, and four out of five inhabitants and entrepreneurs choose official solutions to deal with various issues," said KNAB.
In order to reduce corruption, the population believes there is a need for greater openness and transparency of information on how decisions are made and also stricter control of public procurements. Meanwhile, entrepreneurs believe that there is a need for tough and realistic penalties for offenders and also greater openness and transparency.
The survey was conducted within the framework of the project “Support for the establishment of a whistle-blowing system in Latvia”, where KNAB receives grants from grants from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway in the European Economic Area. The aim of the project is to promote public involvement in reporting corruption and other latent crimes, while providing the population with a secure and convenient reporting channel, as well as improving KNAB competence in detecting and investigating corruption crimes.