Corruption in Lithuania

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Corruption in Lithuania is examined on this page.

Extent[edit]

International rankings[edit]

Index Rank Countries reviewed
Corruption Perceptions Index 2016 38th 176
TRACE Matrix business bribery risk 2017[1] 22nd 200

Summary[edit]

As of 2018, Lithuania remains one of the most corrupt EU countries. Anti-corruption laws are often missing or not being enforced.[2] In surveys of Lithuanian business people, corruption is highlighted as the main issue prohibiting economic development and international competitiveness.[3] A 2016 investigation by the Lithuanian government revealed that only 23% of Lithuanians would report corruption,[4] and those who would not often believed that the corrupt individuals would not be punished.[5][6] The same investigation from 2016 found that 73% of citizens experience identical or increased corruption levels compared to 5 years ago. Transparency International's 2017 Corruption Perception Index ranks the country 38th out of 180 countries,[7]

An anti-corruption program was introduced by the Lithuanian government in 2011–2014.[8]

Society's trust in the political and legal system is low overall; a survey in 2015 showed that 25% of citizens trusted the Lithuanian legal system and 10% trusted the national parliament, the Seimas.[9] An international Gallup study found that 90% of Lithuanians believe that corruption is widespread in Lithuania's government.[10] Despite a solid judicial base, Lithuania’s law enforcement is very weak according to independent assessors.[11]

Lobbying in Lithuania[edit]

A study by 15 min revealed that many lobbying organisations are using governmental real estate in prime locations at no cost.[12] There is very little insight in the sector, as there are no reporting or control regulations. Lobbying is widely spread and particularly common in sectors related to energy, pharmaceuticals, construction, public healthcare and alcohol. Illegal conduct such as bribery is common.[13] The Lithuanian parliament has been unwilling to regulate lobbying.[14]

Nepotism[edit]

Nepotism is a very visible problem in Lithuanian society.[15][16] It exists in all levels of society and especially in the public sector. The Lithuanian language even has an expression about nepotism: "Lietuva yra giminių kraštas" (Lithuania is a country of relatives).[17]

An investigation by Kauno diena found tens of municipality positions filled based on friendships or kinship.[18] At least a quarter of employees of Marijampolė municipality have relatives filling local governmental jobs.[19][20] There is little in the way of punishment for nepotism. In a 2016 study by STT, nearly half of public officials claimed that they have experienced pressure to employ somebody based on their political party membership.[21] A politician of a small village bragged on her Facebook profile about ability to get jobs based on her political connections.[22]

Loreta Graužinienė, a former speaker of the parliament, gave her hairdresser's daughter a job in the parliament.[23] Member of the parliament Greta Kildišienė employed her photographer in the parliament. When Lietuvos rytas investigated the issue, it turned out that the photographer was receiving a salary, but nobody in the parliament knew who she was, what she did, and had not seen her.[24] Parliamentarian Kestutis Pukas employed his lawyer's wife as his advisor.[25]

The vice minister of Ministry of Social Security and Labour arranged employments in Prienai public retirement home for many of her close relatives.[26] A 15 min study discovered that one in six employees of Registrų centras are relatives.[27] Another study by Delfi found that 34% of employees of Kauno regiono keliai are relatives. The entire construction and road public sector was highly influenced by nepotism.[17] The internal audit of public road builder "Automagistralė" revealed that some of the work was done in order to benefit the CEO, e.g. to build his mother's house.[28]

Nepotism bands are also prevalent between public entities and their partners and suppliers in the private sector, which increases risk for corruption in public procurement. The high percentage of unofficial and unannounced public procurement tenders is another contributing factor – the percentage of unannounced public procurement contracts in Lithuania is 5 times above the EU average.[29] When Lithuanian Railways investigated a possible damage of 5 million euros through procurement contracts, they discovered that 40% of employees had close kinship bands to suppliers and partners.[30] Suppliers and partners with kinship bands to Lithuanian Railways employees were consistently promoted and prioritized.[31] Many of the public procurement scandals revolving about inflated prices involved nepotism – Šilainių hospital contracts,[32] Kaunas prison contracts,[33][34] the many scandals surrounding Gintautas Kėvišas family,[35] etc.

Famous cases[edit]

Masiulis case[edit]

In May 2016, the Masiulis alcohol box money case shook Lithuania. Eligijus Masiulis, leader of the Liberal Movement, a prominent political party in Lithuania, was arrested with 106 thousand euros in cash stuffed into an alcoholic beverage box. Bribery suspicions initiated a criminal investigation.[36] MG Baltic, a Lithuanian investment firm, is suspected of giving the bribe. During a house search, another 250 thousand euros in cash were found in Masiulis apartment. In September 2017, the Liberal Movement and Labour Party were additionally named as suspects in the continuing investigation.[37] As of November 2017, no charges have been pressed against Masiulis.

Kaunas golden toilet case[edit]

In 2009, the municipality of Kaunas (led by mayor Andrius Kupčinskas) converted a shipping container into an outdoor toilet at a cost of 500,000 litas (around 150,000 euros). It also required 5,000 LTL (1'500 EUR) in monthly maintenance costs.[38] At the same time when Kaunas "golden toilet" was built, Kėdainiai tennis club acquired a very similar, but more advanced solution for 4,500 EUR. Because of the inflated cost, Kaunas outdoor toilet was nicknamed "golden toilet". Despite the investment, the "golden toilet" was dysfunctional and remained closed for years. It was subject of a lengthy anti-corruption investigation.[38] The municipality even considered demolishing the building.[39] In 2012, public servants involved in the toilet's procurement received prison sentences for recklessness, malfeasance, misuse of power and document falsifications. In 2014, all public servants suspected of corruption were cleared of charges and received compensations, which pushed the total construction cost to 352,000 euros.[40][41]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The TRACE Bribery Risk Matrix". www.traceinternational.org. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  2. ^ "Bausmės už korupciją: vieni įstatymai neveikia, kitų – nėra - LRT". Lietuvos Radijas ir Televizija.
  3. ^ "Lietuvos šešėlinės ekonomikos varikliai – kontrabanda ir mokesčių vengimas". 13 November 2017. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
  4. ^ "Wayback Machine" (PDF). 29 November 2017.
  5. ^ "Atsakomybė už korupciją turi būti neišvengiama - Lietuvos Respublikos Prezidentė". 23 September 2017. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
  6. ^ "Snapshot of the Lithuania Country Profile". Business Anti-Corruption Portal. GAN Integrity Solutions. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
  7. ^ "Corruption Perception Index 2017".
  8. ^ "Nations in Transit 2013- Lithuania". Freedom House. Freedom House. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
  9. ^ (in Lithuanian) "Pasitikėjimas teismais - teigiamas pirmą kartą per du dešimtmečius". delfi.lt. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  10. ^ "75% in U.S. See Widespread Government Corruption". 13 November 2017.
  11. ^ "A Diagnosis of Corruption in Lithuania – ERCAS – European Research Centre for Anti-Corruption and State-Building". 19 October 2017. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
  12. ^ Jokūbaitis, Marius. "Įtakingiems verslo lobistams valstybė patalpas dalija nemokamai".
  13. ^ "Lobizmas Lietuvoje: kada įstatymai – bejėgiai".
  14. ^ "Seime kyla priešprieša dėl lobistinės veiklos reguliavimo".
  15. ^ "TILS atstovo interviu laikraščiui "15 miničių": nepotizmas yra labai ryški problema Lietuvoje – Transparency International Lietuvos skyrius". www.transparency.lt.
  16. ^ Cibulskis, Gediminas. "Sergejus Muravjovas apie Dainiaus Kreivio rašte pateikiamą informaciją: nepotizmas yra labai ryški problema Lietuvoje".
  17. ^ a b "Nepatikėsite, kiek kelininkų giminių sėdi valdiškose kėdėse".
  18. ^ Tvirbutas, Atnaujinta 12.17, Saulius. "Į Kauno savivaldybės postus – per pažintis".
  19. ^ "Atrado dar vieną "švogerių" kraštą: konservatoriai prašo ištirti Marijampolės savivaldybėje artimųjų įdarbinimo atvejus".
  20. ^ narys, Andrius Vyšniauskas, TS-LKD narys, Marijampolės rajono savivaldybės. "A. Vyšniauskas. Švogerizmo kronikos: Marijampolės atvejis".
  21. ^ https://www.stt.lt/documents/soc_tyrimai/LKZ_2016.pdf
  22. ^ ekspresas, Dienraštis Vakaru. "Miestelyje - giminės klanas?". Dienraštis Vakaru ekspresas.
  23. ^ "Loretos Graužinienės kirpėjos dukros karjera: greitas ir neįtikėtinas šuolis į Seimą".
  24. ^ "Greta Kildišienė iš Seimo išnyko, bet algą gauna Milena". 25 November 2017.
  25. ^ "K. Pūkas savo advokato žmoną įdarbino jau turėdamas nedarbingumo pažymėjimą - LRT". Lietuvos Radijas ir Televizija.
  26. ^ "Respublika.lt - žinių portalas - Naujienos". www.respublika.lt.
  27. ^ "Registrų centro darbuotojai: kas šeštas giminė, kas šešioliktas partinis".
  28. ^ ""Automagistralės" karalystės užkulisiai pribloškia: prabangai ir įgeidžiams netaupė".
  29. ^ "Sergejus Muravjovas apie Dainiaus Kreivio rašte pateikiamą informaciją: nepotizmas yra labai ryški problema Lietuvoje - 15min.lt". 29 November 2017.
  30. ^ ""Lietuvos geležinkelių" darbuotojai baiminasi masinių atleidimų, vadovai ramina".
  31. ^ ""Lietuvos geležinkeliai" dėl buvusių vadovų kreipiasi į prokurorus: padaryta 5 mln. eurų žala".
  32. ^ "Šilainių poliklinikos pinigais dosniai šelpė gimines?".
  33. ^ "Pravieniškių pataisos namai galimai iššvaistė daugiau nei 700 tūkstančių eurų".
  34. ^ "Korupcijos grimasos Kauno tardymo izoliatoriuje – guolis už 700 eurų vietoje 4".
  35. ^ Jačauskas, Ignas. "G. Kėvišo sūnaus organizuotiems koncertams - ir Vilniaus savivaldybės parama".
  36. ^ (in Lithuanian) "E. Masiulio byla: į ką buvo įdėtas kyšis ir kas tie slaptieji prokurorai". delfi.lt. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  37. ^ Vireliūnaitė, Lauryna (22 September 2017). "Korupcijos byloje – įtarimai Liberalų sąjūdžiui ir Darbo partijai, E.Masiulis iš R.Kurlianskio ėmė ne tik pinigus". 15min. 15min, BNS. Retrieved 26 September 2017.
  38. ^ a b ""Auksinis" tualetas per mėnesį atsieis 5 tūkst. Lt - DELFI". 18 November 2017. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
  39. ^ "Alfa.lt - Kauno apskrities viršininko administracija kreipėsi į teismą dėl "auksinio" tualeto griovimo". 18 November 2017. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
  40. ^ "Kauno auksinis tualetas jau tampa briliantinis". 22 September 2017. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
  41. ^ "Auksinis tualetas pretenduoja į absurdiškiausio rekordo titulą - KaunoDiena.lt". 23 September 2017. Retrieved 18 November 2017.

External links[edit]