|On October 16, 2002 the Center for the Study of Democracy jointly with Integra Bulgaria held a press conference to present the survey results of Vitosha Research polling agency. In July 2002, Vitosha Research completed a project on “Corruption in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in Bulgaria”, commissioned by “Integra”, Slovakia. A survey amongst entrepreneurs and managers of 642 small and medium-sized companies was conducted. Mr. Martin Dimov, analyst at Vitosha Research, Mr. Alexander Stoyanov, director of Vitosha Research, and Mr. Ljudmil Mandichev, project manager of the Anticorruption project of Integra Bulgaria, presented and commented on the survey.
According to the survey results, the major problems the private business is facing include: the high tax burden (60,6%), the difficult access to credit facilities (43,5%), complicated and time-consuming procedures (35,7%), corruption and bribery in the private sector (26,4%). Nearly half of the respondents assure that they have experienced, in one form or another, corruption pressure on the part of public officials when they were bidding for public procurement contracts. Every second respondent is of the opinion that during the process of concluding various types of deals, obtaining public procurement contracts, holding auctions/tenders, etc, businesspeople offer bribes and the public-sector officials in charge ask for bribes. What is more, a similar disposition may be interpreted as an indicator of a firmly established practice in the relations between businesspeople and public-sector officials.
The judicial system is the institution that should fight all manifestations of corruption. The survey results, however, register an extremely low level of trust in its activities - 81 % do not trust the judicial system. The reasons for this low level of estimation, in the opinion of the majority of respondents, is to be sought in the low efficiency and cumbersome methods of work of the institutions falling within the judicial system.
See the report “Corruption in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises”.