Notes from the Field

From Mongolia: Latest Corruption Benchmarking Survey Released

December 10, 2008

On December 4th, The Asia Foundation’s office in Mongolia released the sixth edition of the Corruption Benchmarking Survey, which covers the six months from March to September 2008. This survey provides time series data that identifies trends and patterns in citizen awareness, intolerance for corruption, and support for measures to combat corruption.

Over the six-month period, ministries and line agencies completed individual corruption assessments and action plans that were mandated by the Prime Minister’s decree earlier in the year. The Independent Authority Against Corruption (IAAC) received an increasing number of corruption complaints, although call volume to the Corruption Reporting Hotline decreased concomitant with the end of the IAAC’s public awareness and education campaign.

The IAAC investigated a growing number of cases, approximately two-thirds of which were referred to the General Prosecutor’s Office for prosecution. Twenty mid-ranking officials have been convicted of corruption-related crimes through the end of September. Most recently, an Ulaanbaatar tax inspector was found guilty of accepting a 20 million tugrik (equivalent to 15,800 USD) bribe, and was sentenced to five and a half years in prison.

Despite these positive developments, public sentiments and experience with corruption worsened between the March and September 2008 surveys. In March, the proportion of households paying a bribe hit bottom (19%) and confidence in institutions, particularly senior-most government officials, were at their highest.

In September, the numbers turned around. A greater percentage reported having paid a bribe (21%), and confidence eroded in state institutions, including the IAAC and in public officials. In September, 28% of Mongolians reported that Prime Minister Bayar would do better than his predecessor in fighting corruption, which is down from 48% six months earlier.

Mongolia Corruption Benchmarking Survey – Sixth Edition

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