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Kyrgyzstan Review, 10 years ago




10. CORRUPTION ERADICATION

Can Corruption Be Eradicated?
 
    Corruption in Kurgyzstan has no deep historical roots, our respondents consider  it to be a relatively new phenomenon, predetermined by the current condition of country economy the general weakness of the state power. Therefore it could be fought against and if not to be eradicated completely, it can be retained at a definite, quite controllable level. So answering the question: “What is your opinion, can corruption in Kyrgyzstan be eradicated?” 77 % of employees answered that “the scale of corruption and bribery can be diminished significantly”, among businessmen the same answer had 64 %. However, 19 % of businessmen and 5 % of employees consider that it is impossible to eradicate corruption. At the same time 12 % of businessmen and 8 % of employees optimistically think that corruption and bribery in Kyrgyzstan can be eradicated completely.
 
Diagram 22.    Can Corruption Be Eradicated? (businessmen)
 
To diminish significantly the scale of corruption and bribery
64
Nothing could be done to his evil
19
 
To completely eradicate corruption and bribery
12
It is difficult to answer
5
 
Question: What do you think, is it possible to completely eradicate corruption, bribery in Kyrgyzstan or at least to significantly diminish heir scales, or you think nothing could be done to this evil?
 
What to Begin With?          
 
    For a successful fight against corruption it is necessary, along with the active anti-corruption measures to increase the authority of and trust to the state power bodies.
 
    Confidence Ranking for the different institutions of state power is shown on Diagram 23 1. It is seen from the diagram that among the citizens of the Republic President and Aiyl Okmotu enjoy most confidence of all political institutions. And those power bodies, in which capacity is prevention and fight against corruption (Jogorku  Kenesh, courts, militia) enjoy the least confidence. Only this fact by itself causes special  anxiety. This problem cannot be left without attention.
 
    I do not trust in these pools, do not believe in their effectiveness, nothing will change all the same. I am offended and irritated by the power, its economic policy is good-for-nothing.
                                                           A woman, 48 y.o, Chui Oblast
 
    On the background of this Confidence Ranking it is not surprising that a very few people believe in the beginning of an active fight against corruption. The quota of positive answers to the question: “What are, to your opinion, the nearest prospects in corruption fight in Kyrgyzstan?” is insignificant in all the categories of respondents. Among employees this part made up 12 %, among businessmen and the officials of law enforcement bodies – 16 % each, population 26%. The quota of pessimistically inclined respondents is equal in all the categories and makes up one third of all questioned. “Everything will remain unchanged” – they consider. The overwhelming majority of all the respondents say that “just another imitation of corruption fight will start”. The quota of such answers among population is 30 %, among law enforcement officers 41 %, and employees and businessmen 43 % each.
 
Diagram 23.    Confidence in Political Institutions of Kyrgyzstan
Among the Citizens
President
60
68
Aiyl Okmotu
58
74
State Authorities of Oblasts
42
62
Government
46
58
Regional State Authorities
42
46
Jogorku Kenesh
38
56
Courts
34
39
Militia
29
34
 
(blue) – May 2000   (purple) – August 1999
Question: Please answer at what extent the following state bodies can enjoy your confidence?
 
    In spite of the pessimistic moods, our citizens are critical to themselves and say that fight against corruption firstly “everyone should start with him/herself: not to give and not to take bribes”. This opinion is shared by the relative majority 38 % of population and 34 % businessmen.
 
Diagram 24.    What should the fight against corruption be started with (population).
 
Everyone should start with him/herself: not to give and not to take bribes
38
It is needed to give a blow to corrupted persons in the upper authority layers
23
The punishment for corruption should be toughen as for a crime extremely dangerous for the society
20
The atmosphere of  bribery intolerance should be created
15
It is difficult to answer
3
 
Question: What, in your opinion, should the fight against corruption be started with?
 
    However law enforcement officials disagree to this statement. They believe that firstly “it is needed to give a blow to corrupted persons in the upper authority layer”.
 
    Among employees equal quantity of questioned – 31 % - agree to opinions: “everyone should start with him/herself: not to give and not to take bribes” and  “it is needed to give a blow to corrupted persons in the upper authority layer”.
 
Diagram 25.    Prospects in Corruption Fight (population)
 
Everything will remain without changes
30
The imitation of corruption fight will start
30
An active corruption fight will start
26
It is difficult to answer
13
Question: What are, to your mind, the nearest prospects in corruption fight in Kyrgyzstan?
 
    Respondents mark out two more variants with which corruption fight could start: “the atmosphere of  bribery intolerance should be created” and “to toughen the punishment for corruption as for a extremely dangerous evil”.
 
    Thinking over the issue of what could contribute to reduction of corruption in Kyrgyzstan employees and businessmen point out six main factors, presented in Diagrams 26, 27.
 
Diagram 26.    Factors of Reduction of Corruption (employees)
 
Growth of living standard of population
14
Stabilization of economic situation in the country
14
Strict observation of Laws and legality
13
Acceptance of such market laws that would not make participants of the market hide in “shadow” but make economic relations “transparent”
10
Increase of wages of functionaries
10
Simplification of bureaucratic procedures
8
 
Question: What from the following, in your opinion, could first of all contribute the reduction of corruption and bribery level in the country?
 
Diagram 27.    Factors of Reduction of Corruption (businessmen)
 
Stabilization of economic situation in the country
14
Growth of living standard of population
13
Strict observation of Laws and legality
12
Acceptance of such market laws that would not make participants of the market hide in “shadow” but make economic relations “transparent”
8
Simplification of bureaucratic procedures
7
Toughening of bribe-taking punishment
7
 
Question: What from the following, in your opinion, could first of all contribute the reduction of corruption and bribery level in the country?
 
Economic, Social-Economic and Criminal
Methods of Fight Against Corruption
 
    In the opinion of businessmen and population “strict pecuniary punishment” is the most effective economic method than “ high wages of functionaries”. The difference between these answers in favour of the first makes up 17 % with businessmen, and 7 % with population. Employees think both methods of corruption fight are equivalent. In contrast to these categories of respondents 47 % of law enforcement officials prefer “high wages of functionaries” and 29 % to “strict material punishment”.
 
    The first social psychological method of corruption fight every second participant of the research thinks “the upbringing of the respect towards Law”. And every third respondent names as the second method “broad propaganda on destructive influence of corruption for the economy and society”.
 
I get no peace with bribe-takers around, I want they all were strictly punished.
                                                                       A man, 40 y.o., Talas Oblast.
 
    The analysis of criminal and legal methods of corruption fight shows that the patience of the people is exhausted. If in the nearest future the Government does not take a number of drastic measures that show the adherence of the authorities to the corruption fight there can emerge distinctly negative tends in masses.
 
    Every third citizen of Kyrgyzstan thinks that the most strict measures should be taken towards corrupted persons: “property confiscation and a long-term imprisonment” as well as “further ban on the work in state bodies”. More over, every forth citizen of Kyrgyzstan is for “introduction of shooting (like in China)” for the corrupted.
 
    The other categories of respondents are more reserved to “the introduction of shooting” than population. They refer to the mostly effective criminal and legal measures “further ban on the work in state bodies” (average 30 % each) and “property confiscation and a long-term imprisonment” (25-30%).
 
    A part of the respondents consider the main not the strictness of the punishment but its inevitability. This point of view have from 20 to 29 % of businessmen, employees and law enforcement officials. The quota of such respondents among population is only 14 %.
 
Whom to Lean On?
 
    The unanimous majority of employees (35 %), and businessmen (47 %), as well as 24 % of law enforcement bodies and 24 % of population picture mass media the main aid of the state authority in the fight against corruption and bribery. That shows the necessity of increasing of the mass media’s role. Free and open mass media help to restrain corruption, pointing to abuses and making them public. The policy of openness, formulated in the laws which ensure free access to information could increase the role of mass media and make them much stronger allies of the state power in its fight against corruption.
 
    One of the main tools in the fight against corruption are mass media. It seems very important and necessary to attract mass media to formation of anti-corruption ideology among population. At present definite steps have been being  made in this direction but they have no appreciable results yet. The answers of our respondents could serve as the answers for the question: ”Which feelings are aroused in you by the works of modern Kyrgyz and Russian literature, cinema, mass media publications on the issue of the fight against corruption?”
 
    The works of modern Kyrgyz and Russian literature, cinema, mass media publications on the issue of the fight against corruption create the feeling of hopelessness (it is useless to fight, criminal world is stronger) with 34 % of citizens, participated in the pool. Other  20 % have “no feelings” and only with 26 % of population the information in mass media creates the feeling of optimism. The equivalent tends can be traced with other categories of the research participants (businessmen: hopelessness – 45 %, optimism – 21 %; employees: hopelessness – 41 %, optimism – 24 %; law enforcement: hopelessness – 33 %, optimism – 31 %;).
 
    One fifth of respondents among employees, 46 % of law enforcement officials and 27 % of population consider that one should lean on the law enforcement bodies when fighting corruption. The quota of such respondents among businessman makes up only 11 per cent, that shows the obvious lack of confidence in law enforcement bodies from this category of respondents.
 
    The respondents consider ordinary citizens as one of the most reliable assistant of the state power in fighting corruption. This category of the society preferred 12% of employees, 10% law enforcement officials, and 8 % each of  population and businessmen.
 
    None of the following mostly probable allies of the state power in fighting corruption were supported by all the respondent categories: political parties, entrepreneur units, non-government organizations, trade unions and religious structures. This can be explained mainly by the practical lack of such organizations that prove themselves as strong, frank and principle fighters against corruption.
 
Diagram 28.    Whom should the authorities lean on in the fight against bribery and corruption (population)
 
On law enforcement bodies
27
On press, television, radio
24
It is difficult to answer
13
On political parties
12
On ordinary citizens
8
On non-government organizations
7
On entrepreneur units
4
On religious structures
3
Other
1
On trade unions
0.4
 
Question: Whom do you think should the authorities firstly lean on in their fight against bribery and corruption?
 
Diagram 29.    Whom should the authorities lean on in the fight against bribery and corruption (businessmen)
 
On press, television, radio
47
It is difficult to answer
15
On law enforcement bodies
11
On ordinary citizens
8
On entrepreneur units
6
On non-government organizations
5
On political parties
4
Other
3
On religious structures
0.3
On trade unions
0.3
 
Question: Whom do you think should the authorities firstly lean on in their fight against bribery and corruption?
 
    In spite of the large scale of corruption and bribery in different structures of power, the republic has opportunities to fight against this evil. The most part of the citizens, 77 % of employees, and 64 % of businessmen confirm that in Kyrgyzstan “the scale of corruption and bribery could be reduced significantly”. However one third part of the population is not confident in the thought that the power will start really fighting against corruption. Most probably “the imitation of fighting against corruption will start”.
 
    Today it is necessary to restore confidence and authority to state power bodies, and to the status of a functionary (‘apparatchik’).
 
    Strict material punishment towards the elicited corrupted functionaries, further ban on the work in any state bodies, property confiscation and a long-term imprisonment, sometimes even a shooting, these measures should, to our respondents’ opinion, contribute the reduction of the level of corruption in the state and the restoration of the respect to functionaries and the power. The main thing is functionaries are aware of the inevitability of punishment.
 
    At the same time about 40 % of population consider that “everyone should start with him/herself: not to give and not to take bribes”. Law enforcement officials picture the start of the corruption fight in a different way: “it is needed to give a blow to corrupted persons in the upper authority layers”.
 
    The fight against corruption demands a system of complex measures. And the most important of them is the drawing of independent and open mass media in the fight against corruption, and also bringing up in citizens the respect to Law.
 
    First of all one should lean on ordinary citizens of Kyrgyzstan in the fight against corruption.                                                                                                                                                                                      
The Main Directions of Fight Against Corruption
 
Accountability of Political Leadership
  • Political Competition
  • “Transparency” of party financing
  • Presenting of the elections results data to Jogorku Kenesh
  • Declarations on income of state functionaries and officials
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Participation of Civil Society
 
  • Establishing of a large coalition against corruption attracting different social organizations 
  • Cooperation between state power bodies and Civil Society (meetings, consultations to the leaders of business, journalists, religious leaders, local self-government, representatives of science, NGOs)
Competition in the Private Sector
  • Reform of Economic Policy
  • Simplification of the companies’ registration procedures
  • Transparency in the enterprise management
 
 
Fight Against Corruption

In the Mass Media Area

  • Freedom of information 
  • Open hearing of Law Drafts
  • Propaganda of anti-corruption outlook
 
Government
  • Decentralization with the presence of accountability
  • State service with high wages
  • To each of state bodies there should be a conformity between: authority, assignment (election) mechanism, under control, sanctions for breaches of the law and actions against the society interests
  • Decisions of administrative character should be taken only personally, with a personal responsibility
  • Budget administration
  • Tax and customs administration
  • Restoration of the authority and respect to the state power
 
Area of Ideology
Upbringing of intolerance to corruption and corrupted in the society
  • Upbringing of the respect of Law
  • Upbringing of the respect to state and power
Legal Area
  • Improvement of the legal base
  • Elaboration and implementation of proposals in the sphere of anti-corruption programs
  • Modernization of law-implementation practice
  • Propaganda of legal knowledge
  • Possibility for citizens to bring in an action in the court for protection of the interests of the society, including actions on annulment of illegal agreements, signed by the executive power bodies with third parties
  • Investigation on the issues of infringements of the law of the upper officials should be made by the bodies independent from the Prosecutor’s, interior affairs bodies, executive power, President
  • Elaboration and acceptance of the law on corruption
  • Toughen and inevitability of the punishment for taking part in corruption
  • The ban to work further in state bodies