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Armenia 2006 Corruption Perception Survey presented

A presentation of “2006 Corruption Perception Survey in Armenia” publication took place today in Congress Hotel. The event brought together public figures, representatives of NGOs and international organizations, as well as mass media. Ms. Consuelo Vidal, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Ambassador Vladimir Pryakhin, Head of OSCE Office in Armenia, and Ms. Bojana Urumova, Special Representative of Secretary General of CoE to Armenia, welcomed participants of the event. Ms. Amalia Kostanyan, Chairwoman, Center for Regional Development/Transparency International Armenia (CRD/TI Armenia), introduced the main findings of the survey.

The survey was implemented by CRD/TI Armenia with the support of UNDP Armenia Office. The organization carried on a similar survey in 2002 funded by the British and US governments, and analogous survey questionnaire was developed in 2006 to ensure a comparison with the previous data.

The results of the 2006 survey indicated that the citizens of Armenia are still very much concerned about corruption. 89.0% of the surveyed citizens see corruption as a problem or a major problem in Armenia. 40.1% of the respondents considered corruption as crime and 11.81% as an immoral behavior. In 2006, nearly five times more interviewees than in 2002 (67.7%) stated that corruption has always existed in Armenia. The majority of interviewees (64.0%) believe that the level of corruption has increased during the last three years.

Most people both in 2002 and 2006 still think that bribery and abuse of public office for personal gain are the main manifestations of corruption. They still believe that the state authorities are those who mainly initiate corruption and that more corruption occurs in the high level of the Armenian government system.

However, the responses concerning the most corrupt institutions (structures) have changed since 2002. While the prosecution system was mentioned again in 2006, the Prime Minister’s Office and the courts were replaced by the Prime Minister and the Ministers.

As to the most corrupt sectors and services, the traffic police are still perceived by the public as very corrupt (68.2%). In addition, the majority of respondents selected the electoral system (73.9%) and the tax service (63.3%) as most corrupt, while in 2002 the military and health sector were given similar marks.

The 2006 survey revealed new sectors to which unofficial payments were made, as reported by interviewees. These are the State Registrar, the Office of Enforcement of Court Decisions, foreign embassies, environment-related services, condominiums, as well as the Register of Civil Acts, in addition to healthcare, education, traffic police, tax, customs, cadastre, military, local self-government bodies, notary offices, which were also mentioned in 2002.

Whereas the majority of the 2002 respondents thought that the main causes of corruption are poor law enforcement, imperfect legislation and inefficient control and punishment mechanisms, in 2006 an increased number of interviewees were inclined to see public tolerance as one of the major causes of corruption in Armenia.

In 2006, 39.0% of the respondents said they cannot justify corruption at all, which was not the case in 2002 and can be seen as a positive trend. Another positive tendency for the year of 2006 was that many more people (50.7%) answered that they would not take bribes since it is unacceptable for them and much less (10.0%) would take bribes because everyone does.

According to the findings of the 2006 survey, the public is not aware about the Anti-Corruption Strategy (69.4%), the Anti-Corruption Council (84.4%) and its Monitoring Commission (91.4%), as well as about Armenia’s international obligations in the fight against corruption (84.3%). Answering the question about the effectiveness of the fight against corruption in Armenia, in 2006 almost the same percentage of respondents as in 2002, said it is somewhat effective, and merely the same percentage thought it is not effective.

Most of the 2006 respondents were alarmed by a negative impact of corruption on the legitimacy of the Armenian authorities and the morale of the society, which did not come across in 2002. The majority of interviewees named the President, the Government, the National Assembly, the law enforcement bodies and the judiciary to be responsible for the corruption situation in the country.

While prioritizing the solutions to improve the current situation, 89.0% of the respondents pointed to a necessity of ensuring free and fair elections. They also referred to strengthening law enforcement (93.9%) and punishment of those involved in corruption (91.9%) as a key to the success of reducing corruption in the country. Both in 2002 and 2006, the majority of interviewees still believe that the President of the country could play a determining role in reducing corruption in Armenia, whereas more than half of them assume that people themselves cannot do anything.

The public opinion regarding the possibility to fight corruption in Armenia has not changed since 2002. Nearly a third of respondents said again that corruption cannot be eliminated, almost half of them noted that it can be limited to a certain degree, and one fifth thought that it can be substantially reduced.

For further information refer to:

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
14, Petros Adamyan Street, Yerevan, 0010, Armenia.

Center For Regional Development / Transparency International Armenia
5 Nalbandyan St., Rooms 35 / 38 Yerevan 0010, Armenia.

For any press enquiries please contact

T: (374 10) 56 60 73

Center For Regional Development / Transparency International Armenia
T: (+374 10) 585578, 526914