Caucasus Research Resource Centers-Armenia, a program of the Eurasia Partnership Foundation in Armenia, presented to the media today the key findings of the 2009 Corruption Surveys of Households and Enterprises; the surveys are part of the USAID Mobilizing Action Against Corruption (MAAC) Activity survey program.
The findings suggest that corruption is considered to be a major problem, and the situation has not improved during the last year. On the other hand, most survey respondents said they would abstain from taking a bribe.
A vast majority of the household survey respondents (84%) considers corruption to be a major problem facing Armenia. The enterprise survey respondents are even more concerned about corruption than the general public, with fully 90% naming corruption as either a “somewhat” or a “very” serious problem. Armenians consider corruption as “a fact of life”: 59% of the 2009 household survey respondents agree with this statement, compared with 73% of the enterprise survey respondents. Thus, both the assessment of the seriousness of corruption as a problem and its entrenchment in daily life are starker among business leaders than among the public.
In both surveys, the majority of respondents said that they would pay a bribe if asked to do so. The main reason for paying the bribe, according to the respondents, is that there is no other way to obtain the service required or to “get things done”. However, if offered a bribe, most respondents (72% for both the household and enterprise surveys) claim they would not take it because the idea is “unacceptable” to them.
A clear majority of the respondents think that corruption can be reduced only to a certain degree or not at all, a result that gives a somewhat discouraging outlook on the future. They do not see themselves as contributors to anti-corruption efforts, as many (60% and 49% of the household and enterprise survey respondents, respectively) say there is nothing they can do to reduce corruption in Armenia.
In addition, monopolies are thought to be the biggest hindrance for business development, as 75% of the enterprise survey respondents describe it as either a “serious” or a “very serious” obstacle. Corruption and the financial crisis come next in the list of impediments, with nearly 70% of respondents mentioning these as either serious or very serious.