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The Asia Foundation Releases its Fourth USAID-Funded Study of Private Perceptions of Corruption (STOPP)

Ulaanbaatar, July 7, 2014 — The Asia Foundation and the Sant Maral Foundation today released the fourth Study of Private Perceptions of Corruption (STOPP) as part of the Strengthening Transparency and Governance in Mongolia (STAGE) project at the Best Western Premier Tuushin Hotel.

The project, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), aims to strengthen democratic governance by building a more transparent and accountable regulatory and legislative environment while promoting principles of checks and balances.

Implemented since December 2012, the STOPP survey has captured data on the experiences of the business community to find out how corruption debilitates the business environment. The fourth survey interviewed 330 senior-level managers of Mongolian businesses in Ulaanbaatar in April 2014. The STOPP surveys are envisioned to inform critical debates between state actors and the business sector to promote good governance in their exchanges which in turn will foster the business-enabling environment.

Additionally, the STOPP survey is complemented by the Foundation’s other survey on perception and knowledge (SPEAK) which is designed to capture data on perceptions and knowledge of administrative practices and grand corruption. Together, the surveys provide a broad picture of the level of corruption in Mongolia.

L. Sumati, director of the SMF told that “Observations of the business environment from 2004 until now show that for the business community in Mongolia the biggest obstacle remaining is corruption. Nevertheless, the latest screening from 2012 to 2014 showed a visible progress comparing to previous years. Regretfully, some indicators are also showing reverse trends from the good start in 2012. It also overlaps with a very difficult general economic situation in the country.  It is evident that urgent measures are necessary to improve the situation in the private sector.”

Scope

  • First survey among private business focused on corruption.
  • Administered for the fourth time in April 2014; the third time in October 2013, the second time was in May 2013; and first time was in December 2012.
  • Encourages businesses to get proactive in developing solutions to corruption.
  • Takes into account the growing interconnectedness between politics and business.
  • Structured questionnaire used.

Findings

  • The percent of respondents who are satisfied with the general business environment has declined from 27.2 to 12.4 since 2012.
  • The number of businesses that consider unofficial charges as a major obstacle has declined by half since 2012.
  • Respondents from the business sector consider taxes to be the major obstacle and the tax office to be the main institution creating obstacles to doing business.
  • The number of businesses that waste no resources overcoming business obstacles has increased from 9.7 to 18.5 percent since 2012 (a slight decline, however, from May 2013).
  • There is a significant decline of 10 percentage points — nearly half — since October 2013 in the number of respondents experiencing or observing incidents of corruption in the previous month.
  • The number of respondents with extensive knowledge of the government’s efforts to combat corruption has declined by nearly half since October 2013, to 4.2 percent, while the number with no knowledge has nearly doubled, to 16.4 percent.
  • The number of businesses with a written policy against corruption has increased since 2012, from 9.7 to 17 percent.

Read more about the Foundation and its programs in Mongolia.

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