Map of corruption in Lithuania

Last updated: 2023-07-03 16:55

According to the data of the study "Map of Corruption in Lithuania 2022/2023" initiated by the Special Investigation Service (STT), the main challenge remains the willingness of citizens and business leaders to report corruption crimes. The results of the survey revealed a worsening rating of certain areas of local government, with public procurement, construction, land management, and spatial planning seen as the most corrupt areas. However, there are some positive developments: the public is increasingly aware of the importance of their contribution to creating an anti-corruption environment.

Presentation of the study data

The perception of corruption is steadily declining in importance

Corruption ranks 5th among 18 problems that concern the Lithuanian population. Inflation, low wages, health care problems and drug use are considered much more important problems. Corruption was cited as a very serious problem by one in three residents (34%), the lowest score since 2007. Public officials ranked 5th at 32% (26% in 2021) and civil servants 5th at 32% (31% in 2021). Thus, the importance of corruption as a problem in society is declining slightly but steadily.

The most corrupt institutions, according to residents and business leaders, continue to be healthcare institutions, the Seimas, the judiciary, municipalities and political parties. Civil servants included the media in the list of the most corrupt institutions, as in the previous two years, but their assessment has improved compared to 2021.

Respondents ranked the most corrupt municipal institutions as public procurement departments or commissions; construction departments; land data departments; architecture and urban planning departments or spatial planning departments. Residents additionally singled out business licensing and permits departments, company managers singled out the mayor, and civil servants singled out municipal administrations.

All groups continue to identify systemic corruption as the main form of corruption in Lithuania. Nepotism, patronage of political party members, and the adoption of laws that favour particular groups are cited as the most pressing forms of corruption. In addition to these forms of corruption, one in two Lithuanians also cited bribery (54%).

Most direct exposure to corruption is in the health sector

The experience of bribery among residents and business executives remained unchanged compared to 2021, with 10% of residents and 5% of business executives indicating that they had to pay a bribe in the last 12 months. The share of civil servants who have paid a bribe has fallen in recent years to 1% (2% in 2021).

The highest risk of bribe extortion continues to be in national hospitals and clinics, as well as in city and district hospitals, where bribes are most often expected for surgical operations and nursing care.

Public opinion on corruption in the energy sector

The evaluation of the Ministry of Energy and its subordinate bodies has deteriorated for the second year in a row, based on responses from citizens and business executives, and the sector is now perceived as the most corrupt. Compared to 2021, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Transport and Communications and their subordinate bodies were also rated lower by citizens, while the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Economy and Innovation and their subordinate bodies were rated lower by businesses. Civil servants perceived the Ministries of Health, Energy and Transport and Communications and their subordinate institutions as the most corrupt.

Decision-making in Lithuania is more closed than open

In recent years, 11% of the population, 10% of company managers and 20% of civil servants in Lithuania have rated decision-making as open. Notably, the assessment of civil servants has fallen by as much as 11%.

Civil servants and company managers consider that the pharmaceutical, healthcare and energy sectors are the most influential. The rating of the impact to the latter sector has increased for the second year in a row, with 77% of business representatives (62% in 2021) and 70% of civil servants (60% in 2021) believing that the energy sector is most affected. In addition, the rating of the construction sector has also declined in recent years, with 53% of business representatives (45% in 2021) and 71% of civil servants (63% in 2021) stating that the sector is subject to influence.

The most frequently mentioned forms of influence remain the same as in 2021: informal meetings and proposals, use of acquaintances, support for political campaigns or parties, and the promise of financial rewards for a favourable decision.

Taking more responsibility for the corruption situation attributed to oneself and one’s immediate environment

Respondents consider civil servants, judges, prosecutors and politicians to be primarily responsible for the prevalence of corruption. However, an increasing number of people attribute responsibility to themselves and their environment – family, relatives, and acquaintances. 48% of residents (39% in 2021), 63% of businesspeople (44% in 2021), and 73% of civil servants (57% in 2021) hold themselves responsible for the prevalence of corruption, while 49% of residents (39% in 2021), 62% of businesspeople (45% in 2021), and 68% of civil servants (52% in 2021) consider people from their immediate environment responsible for corruption.

There has been a significant increase in the intolerance of bribes among business executives and civil servants, with 34% of business executives (41% in 2021) and 15% of civil servants (22% in 2021) saying that bribes help solve problems. However, the anti-corruption potential of the residents remains a key challenge. More than half of residents (63%) would still be prepared to resort to bribes to solve problems. This is also reflected in the willingness to report corruption. One in two residents (58%) know where to report corruption-related crimes, but only one in six (17%) say they would do so. Of those who have experienced corruption, only one in seven (14%) say they have actually reported it.

The willingness of company managers to report corruption remains inadequate. Although 76% say they know where to report, only one in four (25%) would do so, and only 7% say they have done so.

Civil servants have a higher anti-corruption potential, and this has increased significantly in recent years. 89% of civil servants know whom to report to (84% in 2021), 66% say they would report corruption (56% in 2021), and among those who have encountered corruption, one in four civil servants say they would report it (one in seven in 2021).

The main reasons for not reporting corruption remained the fear of being victimised if reported, lack of confidence that people will be convicted, and the belief that everyone knows about corruption but does not report it.

The survey “Map of Corruption in Lithuania 2022/2023”, initiated by the Special Investigation Service, was carried out by the Vilmorus Centre for Public Opinion and Market Research in December 2022–March 2023. A total of 1001 Lithuanian residents, 500 business executives and 740 civil servants were interviewed.

More information here.