Businesses are the driving force for economic development. Amongst the factors determining investment climate and private sector development, a company's exposure to crime plays a significant role. Crime may cause high costs and damage to businesses. As a consequence, it may seriously hamper their activities.
Increasing knowledge on crime issues that affect the socioeconomic environment in which businesses operate is essential for the sound development of a strong business community. Crime surveys conducted previously within businesses have shown that corruption is amongst the types of crime most frequently affecting them.
Some international surveys do cover the issue of corruption and some target businesses in particular. Nevertheless, none of such surveys provides a comprehensive coverage of crime issues. Overall, comparable information at the international level on crime and corruption remain scarce, especially that referring to direct experience (as opposed to the perception only of the problem).
Preparatory work carried out on the basis of previous surveys and within the framework of the recent cooperation agreement between UNODC and UNIDO has produced a questionnaire and methodology for international standardized crime and corruption business surveys (CCBS). The questionnaire addresses bribery/ corruption, fraud, extortion and several forms of crime which impact on business and industry.
Pilot surveys were conducted in 2005/06 Bulgaria and Canada with small samples of businesses. These surveys were not meant to produce estimates of prevalence, but only to test the methodology and the questionnaire in different contexts, thus involving small samples of businesses. The results were analysed in view of further refining the methodology, assessing the average length of interviews, and addressing any problems encountered (language, sensitive issues, etc...).