BUSINESS IN SHORT

Slovaks say corruption is widespread

BRIBERY and corruption are widespread in Slovakia, at least according to the perceptions of 84 percent of respondents in a poll carried out by global accountancy firm Ernst & Young. In Europe only Slovenia, Croatia, Ukraine and Greece are perceived as having a higher degree of corruption than Slovakia, according to the company’s press release.

BRIBERY and corruption are widespread in Slovakia, at least according to the perceptions of 84 percent of respondents in a poll carried out by global accountancy firm Ernst & Young. In Europe only Slovenia, Croatia, Ukraine and Greece are perceived as having a higher degree of corruption than Slovakia, according to the company’s press release.

The poll was conducted among 3,459 respondents in 36 countries in Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa (EMEIA) in November and December 2012. Questions in the poll concerned issues like offering bribes and knowingly overstating the financial situation of companies.

Moreover, up to 41 percent of companies said that they encountered corruption when receiving orders in their own sectors. In 2011 the number of such companies stood at only 23 percent, according to the press release.

The survey also revealed that one in five employees of companies in EMEIA countries surveyed received information about corruption in the past 12 months. The number was even higher in so-called fast-growing economies, where up to 25 percent of employees reported instances of murky practices.
Moreover, about 42 percent of directors and members of boards of directors said that financial data on business activities or costs had been manipulated in some way. Up to a third of respondents in Slovakia said that their companies manipulate their financial results, the press release reads.

In addition to this, 24 percent of respondents from Slovakia said that they would support people who reported corruption, while among all countries, 60 percent of directors and people in upper management positions said they would support those who report corruption, and 34 percent of other employees said they would do so.

Four out of five Slovak respondents stated that either a line for reporting fraud and corruption currently does not exist, or that they are not aware if one does.

Moreover, less than 50 percent of respondents from the trade sector said they do not consider anti–corruption measures and norms in their company to be relevant to their tasks within the organisation, or that they lack information about their existence, the press release reads.

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