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The Asia Foundation Releases Third Corruption Benchmarking Survey

Ulaanbaatar, April 26, 2007 — Public expectations and confidence in the new Anti-Corruption Agency are high

The Asia Foundation released the third, semi-annual corruption benchmarking survey, a corruption-monitoring tool that is engaging people and institutions to reduce corruption in Mongolia. Davasureen, TAF Project Manager, presented the survey results during a press conference, where the Anti-Corruption Agency’s (ACA) senior managers and civil society leaders discussed survey findings and their initiatives to reduce and deter corruption, including the ACA’s new efforts to prevent corruption. (The survey is available for download in English and Mongolian.)

‚ÄúThe people of Mongolia expect the newly established ACA to effectively reduce and deter corruption. The survey confirms that Mongolians believe that the ACA‚Äôs implementation of the anti-corruption law passed last year could advance integrity in the public and private sectors. But, the honeymoon will be cut short by inaction. Effective action requires a solid partnership between government, civil society and media. The job can only be done jointly,‚ÄĚ said Mr. William Infante, Director of the Foundation’s Mongolia office.

The major change from the prior survey results is a substantial decline in calls for stronger punitive measures. This number has declined from 50 to approximately 30 percent. This may be correlated with the view that anti-corruption efforts will only target low and middle-level public servants, while elites and senior officials escape from punishment. The survey also indicates that corruption is a potentially becoming more accepted as an increasing fraction of the population expressed a greater willingness to pay a bribe in order to overcome problems.

The Asia Foundation’s semi-annual corruption benchmarking survey monitors the scope, incidence and impact of corruption at the household level. It monitors perceptions of corruption as well as the impact of corruption on the household. The first survey was conducted in March 2006, and established the baseline against which this and other surveys will monitor changes. The survey comprised 600 respondents in Ulaanbaatar and four provinces: Selenge, Uvs, Uvurkhangai, and Sukhbaatar.

Advancing pride and integrity in the public and private sector is the goal of The Asia Foundation’s Anti-Corruption Support Project, an initiative to reduce the incidence and scope of corruption, to strengthen institutional and public capacity to combat corruption, and to empower Mongolians to demand transparency and accountability. The Asia Foundation seeks to influence public perception and engage civil society, the private sector and government in combating corruption by building public and civic institutional capacity, raising awareness and fueling intolerance.

The Asia Foundation, in cooperation with Sant Maral/ Transparency International with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development, will conduct semi-annual surveys over the next two years to assess the scope, incidence and impact of corruption, which will serve as a barometer of Mongolia’s success in combating corruption.

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