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Analysis of the Results of a Questionnaire on Corruption in the Regime's Apparatus, State Institutions, and People's Organizations in Libya, 2006


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Analysis of the Results of a Questionnaire on Corruption in the Regime's Apparatus, State Institutions, and People's Organizations in Libya, 2006

Jointly by Departments of Research and Studies of Organization for Transparency Libya, Libya Human and Political Development Forum, March. 2007

Naturally there are a variety of definitions for corruption, all of which agree that it consists of a breach in the law and order, by either misusing their absence, or, lacking of commitment to them, with the purpose of gaining some personal or group interests in political, economic, or social fields. It is also rational to view the phenomenon of corruption as a behavior that violates the official duties of a public office with the purpose of achieving personal (material or moral) gains. Therefore, in this report, corruption is dealt with as an illegal act as defined by Transparency International: "Any act that involves abuse of a public office with the purpose of gaining some personal interest for the abuser or his/her group." Corruption may sometimes cause damage (material or moral) to public interest. Furthermore, it is an immoral and non-patriotic act.

The overall concept of managerial and financial corruption encompasses all illegal acts that may violate the state laws and regulations. They include all acts that sustain the purpose of achieving personal gains to the detriment of public interest. Some examples include the misuse of public property, the acceptance of bribes, gifts, or grant, regard of favoritism or nepotism, and disregard of competence and equal opportunities, in employing as well as the embezzlement of millions in the form of commissions, deals, contracts, and large financial agreements.

First, a note should be made of the extreme difficulty we faced in observing events to reach the facts and positions hidden behind them, not to mention acquiring documented statistics from Libyan official sources. Based on our complete conviction that the right to know and the right to have access to information are among the basic rights guaranteed by all international pacts and charters, we have designed a questionnaire on corruption in Libya with the intention to publish our results on our sites and via all means of electronic dissemination. The World Proclamation of Human Rights and the International Pact on civil and political rights (Article 19 of both the Proclamation and the Pact), emphasize these rights. Because freedom of opinion and the right to have access to information and to publish them are interrelated, our questionnaire was the best ‘available’ alternative. It should be admitted that the electronic questionnaire cannot be equal to a scientific questionnaire with all its requirements. Nonetheless, we found it to be sufficient for us to complete our report, with some extent of objectivity, based on documented statistics, numbers, and analyses.

The Libyan authorities ' policies have always consisted of imposing absolute control of information, especially the various forms of media. For the past three decades, the media has been characterized by a total lack of independence, competence and transparency, completely absent of what we may call 'free press.' It is true that a number of websites have appeared inside Libya and timidly revealed some aspects of corruption. Yet, despite the fact that Libya has the professional efficacies needed to handle these issues with a great deal of courage and investigational spirit, these websites seem to have been serving some private agendas. Moreover, the lack of any legal guarantees makes the opening of certain files seem like some sort of insanity. In view of all these aspects, the initiative to design and disseminate this questionnaire seems like a rational and practical procedure. The questionnaire has been designed in a manner that suits the purpose and nature of the data needed. The facility of data entry and electronic preparation has also been taken into consideration.

The questionnaire has been disseminated via email. Then, it was published on the main pages of www.transparency-libya.com , www.libyaforum.org , www.akhbar-libya.com , www.justice4libya.com and other Libyan websites have also published the link to participate in the questionnaire for various periods of time.

The initial reading, which encompassed 500 respondents, included the following basic information about the respondents: sex, age, social status, number of family members, residency region, educational level, and profession/craft.

The results of the personal information came as follows:

As expected, men's participation was 90.02 percent; women. 9.98 percent, less than the percentage targeted.

The age category 36-43 had the most respondents (37.40 percent); followed by the category 26-35 (35.6 percent); then came the category 46-55 (16.06 percent); then, the category 16-25 (7.32 percent); and finally, the category above 55 years of age (0.7 percent).

Most of the respondents were married (62.20 percent); then, singles (33.13 percent); then, divorcees (3.25 percent); and finally the widowed (1.42 percent).

The greater part of the respondents (43.94 percent) belonged to middle-size families (3-5 members); followed by (36.15 percent) of larger-size families (more than 5 members); followed by (19.91 percent) of small-size families (less than 5 members).

Within the Category of the residency region, the greater proportion was from the western region (50.52 percent); then the eastern region (32.51 percent); then, the central region (11.18 percent), then, the southern region (4.35 percent), then the oases region (4.35 percent).

The respondents' educational level displayed a link between participation in the questionnaire and access to computers and the Internet. So, the category of educated persons came first and foremost. The proportion of those with university degrees and higher was the highest (44.44 percent); followed by those in higher education (38.27 percent); then those with high school degrees (13.99 percent); then those with a pre-high school education (3.92 percent).

The category of profession/specialty/craft represented the structure of the Libyan society. Public sector (or government) employees came first (43.12 percent); then private sector employees (23.48 percent); then retirees and the unemployed (16.19 percent), which is close to the unemployment rate in Libya; then foreign company employees (12.73 percent); then, students and trainees (3.64 percent); while People's organizations' employees came last (0.81 percent).

The preliminary reading of the results encompasses 500 respondents representing a 'random' sample of Libyan citizens with access to the Internet. However, the results were in proportion to the structure of the Libyan society, except the rate of women compared to that of men, which we hoped to be higher.

The questionnaire included specific questions on the following aspects of corruption:

The most widespread fields of corruption in the state's and society's institutions;

The most corruption-practicing elements of power;

The rate of increase or decrease of corruption in various forms in various institutions;

The criteria and norms by which members of inspection committees, public control, financial and bureaucratic accounting in the state's institutions, are chosen;

The criteria and norms by which heads and members of the committees assigned to revise and examine the forms of transparency presented by the state's officials, are chosen;

The role the institutions of the state, government, and society play in exposing and combating corruption;

The role the institutions of the state, government, and society play in backing, protecting, or cajoling the symbols of corruption;

The spread of corruption in the state's institutions, public and private sectors, firms, people's organizations, foreign companies, and international agencies working in Libya;

The impact of the varied forms of corruption on the government's efficacy in running the state's and society's affairs, and on various economic, trade, environmental, educational, cultural, intellectual, and social activities;

How serious and capable the ruling authorities are to combat corruption and put an end to the mafias of corruption in the country;

The necessity to have a wide-range alliance of civil society organizations to fight corruption, expose the 'mafias' of corruption, and prosecuting them with all possible means inside the country and abroad.

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