73% of companies operating in Ukraine disappointed in govt's fight against corruption - Survey

73% of companies operating in Ukraine disappointed in govt's fight against corruption - SurveyMost Ukrainian companies and European companies operating in Ukraine (73%) do not see any progress in the fight against corruption in Ukraine in the past two years, according to a corruption survey conducted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine presented in Kyiv on Wednesday.

Head of the Chamber Anti-Corruption Working Group Ihor Svitlyk said that 35% of companies believe that newly established anti-corruption bodies will not be effective in fighting against corruption and 29% think that they will.

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"Around 30% of respondents have not yet decided. Their comments included hope that they will be [effective]," he said.

According to the poll, almost all companies (98%) believe that corrupt practices are widespread in Ukraine and 88% of them have ever faced corruption while doing business in Ukraine.

Svitlyk pointed out the upward trend is seen for companies in Ukraine that believe that they have not to engage in corrupt activities in order to have higher chances to succeed (from 39% in 2014 to 65% in 2015).

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He said that there were several positive moments in combating corruption: deregulation and adoption of a new law on public procurement, which helps to hold more transparent tenders and save money. Revenues from state-run enterprises have considerably increased, which is evidence of a reduction of corruption. Almost half of all respondents see the establishment of the Police Patrol Service as the most positive development (43%), while 51% of the respondents stated the absence of success.

Some 83% of respondents are ready to cooperate with law enforcement authorities and provide any required information in order to punish corrupted officials. Only 7% of companies had success in cooperation with law enforcement authorities and only 2% saw the effective punishment of a corrupted person by court.

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According to the poll, most widespread types of corruption are demanding a bribe (82% of companies mentioned it), misuse of official position (75%) and a request for kickback to win a tender (52%). The most problematic institutions in terms of corruption are courts (87%), prosecutor's offices (61%) and local authorities (39%).

According to the survey, the most effective ways to fight corruption are replacing staff in problematic bodies (72% of respondents), proper compensation (57%) and stricter punishment (47%).

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The biggest obstacles in eliminating corruption in Ukraine are the absence of political will (48%), resistance of the state bodies to reforms (27%) and mentality of Ukrainians (17%).

The poll was conducted in the period from March 2014 through October 2015. A total of 99 companies completed the questionnaire.
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