YEREVAN (ArmRadio)—Caucasus Research Resource Centers-Armenia, a program of the Eurasia Partnership Foundation in Armenia, presented the key findings of the 2009 Corruption Surveys of Households and Enterprises on Tuesday. The surveys are part of the USAID Mobilizing Action Against Corruption Activity survey program.
The findings suggest that corruption is considered to be a major problem in Armenia, and the situation has not improved during the last year.
A vast majority of the household survey respondents (84 percent) considers corruption to be a major problem facing the country. The enterprise survey respondents are even more concerned about corruption than the general public, with 90 percent naming corruption as either a “somewhat” or a “very” serious problem. Armenians consider corruption as “a fact of life”: 59 percent of the 2009 household survey respondents agree with this statement, compared with 73 percent 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 required service or to “get things done”. However, if offered a bribe, most respondents (72 percent 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 percent and 49 percent 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 percent 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 percent of respondents mentioning these as either serious or very serious.