In 2012, police started 5,512 corruption cases, 140 less than in 2011, according to a Rzeczpospolita report. The number of actual corruption crimes detected also fell (by 11.4 percent). The overall value of the bribes was, however, twice as big as in 2011. Last year crooked officials received zł.15.63 million in bribes, compared to zł.6.39 million the year before.
With numerous anti-corruption campaigns and decreasing social acceptance of bribery, the number of corruption cases has fallen. The detection rate is higher as well, as more people report to authorities when they know of illegal activities, even anonymously.
Unfortunately nothing has changed in the matter of who is receiving the bribes, with doctors and public officials still at the top of the list. The Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) in a recent report, issued 16 provisions that should be implemented regarding fighting corruption among judges, prosecutors and members of parliament.
They mostly deal with ethical issues and conflicts of interest, which the report states are “not understood by some officials.” The organization says its recommendations would make ethical rules transparent and would implement a series of ongoing training sessions on conflicts of interest, rules concerning gifts, prohibition or restriction of certain activities and declaration of assets and private interests.
Poland’s difficult labor market has also pushed job seekers to bribe people that could provide them with employment. In 2012, some zł.8.2 million was spent on bribing potential importers (compared to zł.4.5 million in 2011). It’s important to note that these numbers pertain only to the cases that have been investigated by the authorities.
In the 2012 edition of Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perceptions Index report, Poland placed 41st, the same as the previous year. Despite its stagnation in the ranking, Poland managed to overtake Greece and Italy, as well as improve its score to 58 points, from 55 points in 2011.
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