Bolivia: Perception of the Private Sector on Corruption in Public Services

A companion study to the previous one obtained information from 1599 businesses of which 349 were importers and 198 public contractors for the purpose of assessing the magnitude of the problem, identifying areas of concern and obtaining suggestions for solutions. Some 90% of businesses said that corruption in the public services was serious or very serious. Twelve percent of all businesses admitted to having paid a bribe, typically for amounts between one third and one half of the minimum monthly salary; delays were between 28 and 57 hours for each transaction. One in every four who took part in a tender process said they had to give a bribe to win the competition. The survey participants gave detailed suggestions to improve tendering. The Chambers of Industry and Commerce also contributed to these suggestions for reform.

In proposals to improve Mayors’ offices and Internal Revenue, there were strong feelings expressed against service workers and their supervisors, demanding their sacking. Some, in a more constructive spirit, proposed professionalising these services, increased salaries and training. They also proposed simplifying the transactions, their costs and delays. The Chambers of Industry and Commerce suggested privatising some of the services of the Mayors’ offices. A number of specific recommendations were made for increasing transparency in the customs services.