Top-Level Political Corruption Should Be Watchdog's Main Concern - Poll
109 POLITICS - CORRUPTION - POLL
Top-Level Political Corruption
Should Be Watchdog's
Main Concern - Poll
Sofia, February 7 (BTA) - To investigate corruption at the highest political level should be the overriding priority of the Counter-corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Commission (CUAAFC), according to a public opinion poll conducted by Transparency International Bulgaria in June 2018. The view was expressed by 71.2 per cent of respondents in the poll. The findings were unveiled at a national roundtable discussion in Sofia Thursday, which involved MPs, law experts and CUAAFC officials.
The poll shows that the number two priority for CUAAFC should be to investigate corruption in municipal governments and among central government administrators. Respondents see a need for public campaigns to foster zero tolerance towards corruption. They also want the public to be updated on the results of the counter-corruption efforts of the institutions.
Interviewees single out political corruption, the misuse of public money and corruption in the judicial system as some of the most serious problems related to corruption.
Some 24.5 per cent of those polled would alert the media about cases of corruption, 20 per cent would alert the police, 13.5 per cent would approach CUAAFC, and 10.1 per cent would report the matter to the prosecution service. Over 40 per cent would not alert any institution because they fear the consequences and because they believe that the public officials who would receive the alert would also be corrupt.
About 33 per cent of Bulgarians are inclined to assist CUAAFC in uncovering corruption if that does not cost them too much time and effort. Some 27.7 per cent would assist CUAAFC if they were convinced that the investigation would be impartial, and 24.6 per cent would do it on condition of anonymity. Only 9.4 per cent would cooperate unconditionally.
Trifon Trifonov, who heads the Corruption Prevention Directorate at CUAAFC, said that since its establishment in January 2018, CUAAFC has conducted 2,200 checks into reports of unlawfully acquired assets, has filed 180 claims to the courts for a total of over 310 million leva in assets, and has seen 21 court judgments for a total of 12.5 million leva enter into force. CUAAFC has received more than 700 alerts so far, mainly from private individuals, which implies a considerable increase compared to the numbers reported by earlier counter-corruption authorities. RY/VE