Poll suggests little change in attitudes to bribery

A public opinion poll conducted by the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) shows that while the great majority of the public still say they are not willing to pay bribes to officials, businesses are a little less strident on the matter than they were.

1,040 residents over the age of 18 and 400 companies operating in Latvia participated in the public opinion poll conducted by the "Latvijas Fakti" pollster on behalf of KNAB in the period from January 7 to February 14, 2022.

85% of the general public and 73% of entrepreneurs are not ready to give a bribe to a public official in order to achieve a solution to the problem. The most common reason given by citizens and businesses alike is an expectation that offering a bribe will cause more trouble than it is worth.

However, 20% of the surveyed Latvian population (the result has not changed compared to 2021) and 31%
of companies (+10% compared to 2021) say that during the last 2 years they have used personal connections, gifts or unofficial payments to sort out problems of one sort or another. In most cases this was by means of personal communication in the areas of healthcare or state and municipal administration.

For businesspeople, 31% or almost every third entrepreneur, said they had resorted to similar methods to solve issues in the field of construction and participating in state and municipal procurements.

Citizens continue to cite the need for greater disclosure of information to those who influence decision-making and stricter controls on public procurement as important solutions in the fight against corruption. Meanwhile, the opinion among businessmen that harsh and real penalties should be imposed on offenders and that officials should be recruited through open competition remains unchanged.

Along with the growing public rejection of bribery, the number of people who would be willing to report corruption has also increased. 61% of the population say they would report it, of which 19% would be willing to do so without anonymity. In situations where a bribe is requested or an official violates his or her authority, 38% of respondents would report it to KNAB, with younger people more likely to report than older people.

 

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