To Avoid Communicating With the Bribe Taker

To Avoid Communicating With the Bribe Taker
Editorial

October 5, 2012 13:53

Although a few middle-ranking officials were arrested and a few were
fired last month, the majority of the people are convinced that this
struggle is an imitation. And in my opinion, one shouldn’t make
assumptions `I believe-I don’t believe,’ but act. And this refers not
only to the powers that be, but also to us, ordinary citizens. When
one demands a bribe from us, we don’t complain for 3 reasons: 1. we
don’t believe that the law-enforcers will deal with the issue
seriously in that case; 2. we are afraid that the bribe-taking
official will take a revenge on us; 3. we justify him at the bottom of
our hearts – the man has to look after his family. If that
psychological obstacle is not overcome, no president and no prime
minister will rescue us.

Besides catching bribe takers, one should create mechanisms, which
will substantially restrain or, which is better, absolutely rule out
the communication between the government official and the citizen.
What is the problem here? The bribe taker never demands a bribe at the
beginning, his tactics is different – he starts to `complicate’
everything, he demands that you get various papers, then finds
drawbacks in every paper and again doesn’t provide the service that
s/he must provide for weeks or even months. And when you are
eventually fed up with that red tape, s/he feels that you have reached
the `necessary condition’ and hints that s/he can solve your issue, as
well as expresses hope that you will repay his/her favor. The
ambiguity of laws and the number of papers offer ample opportunity for
the bribe taker to humiliate the citizen, give him/her the runaround,
until s/he `pays.’ Therefore, one should eliminate all those papers.
In the age of computers and the internet, it is just a technical
problem. That starting from January 1 tax statements will be sent
exceptionally digitally is a step in the right direction – thus, the
company director (or accountant) doesn’t meet with the tax officer at
all. One should spread that practice over all state institutions
adopting electronic signature. I for one have an identification card
with that electronic signature. However, that card is not valid
anywhere yet. Whereas the same state institutions, as well as banks
should be connected with each other via one network, through which my
card will `tell’ them in a matter of two minutes where I live and
work, how much I make, how I pay taxes, where I got a loan etc. There
is no need for copies of the passport and the social security card, an
employment verification letter and many other papers anymore. And I
will make all my deals from my house.

By the way, when this system starts to operate, I am convinced that
there will be a lot of complainers, a part of which will show an
`opposition’ or an `alternative’ attitude. However, it is of little
importance for us, ordinary citizens.

ARAM ABRAHAMYAN

http://www.aravot.am/en/2012/10/05/116998/

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