Poland: Bribes no longer in envelopes
In 1H2015 the number of instances of abuse of power committed by public servants in Poland in exchange for private inurement exceeded 2,700, which is more than 1,500 instances more than in 1H2014, the Polish daily Rzeczpospolita wrote August 27, 2015.
â€śPublic servants feel they can go unpunished because they are not held financially accountable for taking bad decisions,â€ť Prof. Janusz Czapinski, social psychologist, told the paper. â€śThe regulations make it possible, but in reality that does not happen. Itâ€™s also a reason why they keep risking it.â€ť
The type of the abuse differs, depending on the servantâ€™s competences, although experts agree that perpetrators have grown smarter: the clichĂ© scenario where the public agent receives an envelope stacked with cash under the table is being replaced by deferred favors.
â€śSuch favors are never selfless, although it is not always about the money,â€ť Prof. Czapinski stated.
â€śIf the public servant takes care of a matter for someone, he will likely expect that someone to return the favor in the future â€“ for example the grateful petitioner may hire his daughter,â€ť Czapinski said.
The phenomenon applies to servants of all calibers â€“ starting from those serving in the local municipalities through law enforcement agents from the police task force, and to ministers and secretaries of state.