Tunisia: one Third of Companies Paid Bribe in 2015

One third of companies established in Tunisia paid bribes to the public administration for various reasons, whether to accelerate procedures or reduce tax.

A survey on the business environment in 2015 covering 1,200 companies indicates that one out of three companies was involved in graft in order to get favours from public authorities.

According to the research conducted by the Tunisian Institute of Competition and Quantitative Researches (ITCEQ), 32 per cent of the companies point out that Tunisian customs is one of the most corrupt state institutions.

The research also finger-points public services (15%), public procurements (12%), inspection and control services (12%) as well as the health and hygiene controls (10%) as other most corrupt domains of the Tunisian administration.

8 per cent of the surveyed companies indicated they gave bribe to the judiciary system. 14 per cent of them said they were also compelled to pay bribe to the tax officers.

The survey revealed that the bribe paid to the administration presented 0.62 of the companies’ turnovers.

In addition, companies were in 64% of cases compelled to give bribes to have their demand accelerated, in 53 % of cases to remove roadblocks, in 22% of cases to skirt the law and in 19% of cases to have their tax dues reduced.

In December last year, a report authored by World Bank experts indicated that most companies linked with former President Ben Ali clan were also involved in similar practices.

Prime Minister Habib Essid appearing before the parliament in January to propose strategies to halt public anger which nearly threw Tunisian into a new revolution and address unemployment was criticised by opposition lawmakers who blame the government’s failure to fight corruption which has become even more rampant in post Ben Ali era.

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