The Baseline Survey was compiled as part of the ‘Pay No Bribe’ (PNB) programme of support to the Anti-Corruption Commission of Sierra Leone, funded by UKAID. The overall objective of the PNB programme is to enable the Sierra Leone Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to design, manage and implement a system for real-time reporting of corruption by the users of services. The system targets the points of service delivery that are routinely prone to bribery and where demands for bribes impact heavily on the poorest and most vulnerable, including the growing numbers of urban poor. These are:
- Health: User fees for basic services under the Free Healthcare Initiative
- Education: User fees in primary education
- Water: Connection fees
- Electricity: Connection fees
- Police: Carrying out of police duties
The Baseline Survey demonstrates that (petty) corruption is evident across all public sectors under review. Bribe-paying is widespread, with respondents claiming that bribery is corruption and completely unacceptable, and that it is possibly the biggest problem in Sierra Leone. Amounts paid in bribes differ widely geographical location, rural or urban status and/or by the service required but on average petty bribe amount will always be in the region of Le 5,000 and can (rarely) be as high as Le 250,000. For poor people particularly, this can represent a significant drain on their budgets, particularly when regular health and/or education services are needed. As a general rule, higher bribes are paid in more remote areas.
Despite awareness of the unacceptability of bribe-paying, there is public sympathy with officials’ claims that they have to ask for bribes because their salaries are usually delayed and/or they rarely receive the materials with which to do their jobs. Few citizens were prepared to oppose the paying of bribes and they had little knowledge and awareness of the Pay No Bribe programme.
Read the Executive Summary here: Baseline Executive Summary
or the full Baseline Survey here: Baseline Survey – Full report