Corruption in Poland
|Corruption by country|
Corruption in Poland has declined over time in the recent years. In international rankings it is below the world average but not insignificant. Within Poland, surveys of Polish citizens reveal that it is perceived to be a major problem.
Transparency International's 2017 Corruption Perception Index ranks the country 36th place out of 180 countries. It is the eighth successive year in which Poland's score and ranking have improved in the Index.
Global Integrity 2010 report gave Poland the score of 80 out of a 100 assessing the legal framework as 86 (strong) and actual implementation as 71 (moderate). The report scored Poland particularly well (score of 90) in categories for "Non-Governmental Organizations, Public Information and Media" and "Elections", and particularly low in the category for "Public Administration and Professionalism" (score of 59).
A 2012 report jointly prepared by from the Institute of Public Affairs and Transparency International notes that the corruption in Poland is lower than in the past, when in the mid-1990s it was "a phenomenon of a systemic nature". As described in that report, the World Bank Worldwide Governance Indicators (accessible here ) for "rule of law" and "control of corruption" show steady improvement for Poland. Poland has joined the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention in 2000, implementing relevant legislation in 2001. Poland has also made significant progress in combating corruption like the establishment of the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau and the first anti-corruption strategy which was adopted in 2002.
The 2012 report from the ISP and TI report, reviewing individual Polish anti-corruption institution, praised the Supreme Audit Office (NIK), followed by the Polish Ombudsman (RPO). It criticized the civil society,the private sector, and the executive and public administration of insufficient efforts in fighting corruption. Poland's watchdog organisations are considered weak in combating corruption, and corruption allegations often appear in government contracting and permit issuance.
The 2012 report from the ISP and TI praised the overall direction of the anti-corruption efforts in Poland, noting that they are "bringing noticeable results", but noted that those efforts, particularly from the public authorities, are "rather chaotic, sometimes contradictory or even controversial". It concluded that "corruption in Poland still entails considerable risks" and "the level of anti-corruption protection is unsatisfactory". A 2013 OECD report analyzing the implementation of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention concluded that "the current Polish framework for fighting foreign bribery is still inadequate".
A 2013 survey in Poland found that 83% of surveyed Polish citizens think that corruption is a major problem for their country, particularly prevalent among politicians (62 percent) and in the health-care sector (53 percent). A growing number of citizens (57%) is concerned that there is no political will to fight corruption.
In the early 1920s, during the first years of the Second Polish Republic, Polish institutions were plagued by endemic corruption, and several of the governments of the day were accused of corruption, very likely with sound cause. Between 1923 and 1926, Józef Piłsudski came to conclude that the system which he dubbed "Sejmocracy" fostered general corruption, ultimately leading him to launch the May Coup and seize power. His byword Sanation referred to the cleansing he promised to introduce, in contrast to his predecessors' shady practices.
However, once in power, his allies uncovered very few cases of corruption in past governments; persistent references to mass corruption amounted to a type of "primitive propaganda", in the words of historian Andrzej Garlicki. Later, it was Piłsudskiites who became embroiled in a well-publicized scandal revolving around election budgets, the Czechowicz Affair. By the 1930s, the country had developed an economic model involving state capitalism, with key industries in government hands. While this fostered growth in vital areas, it also gave rise to inefficiency and corruption. Private businesses found it hard to compete directly with state-owned concerns, in particular for public contracts.
In the communist People's Republic of Poland, corruption was widespread, particularly by Polish United Workers Party officials (see nomenklatura). Corruption under the communist regime was so pervasive that some scholars have referred to the system as "legalized corruption".
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- Poland Corruption Profile
- Grzegorz Wolszczak,  (Anti-)Corruption in Poland since Early 2000 to 2010
- Patrycja Szarek-Mason (11 March 2010). The European Union's Fight Against Corruption: The Evolving Policy Towards Member States and Candidate Countries. Cambridge University Press. pp. 208–. ISBN 978-0-521-11357-1. (Subchapter on Poland)