Some four billion euros per year are swallowed up by Belgian public sector corruption states an international survey, which Het Laatste Nieuws and De Morgen report upon on Friday. The annual total through to the end of 2015, has been confirmed by Paul Meulemans, the Head of Service for Public Procurement Contracts at the Office Central pour la Répression de la Corruption (OCRC – which investigates serious fraud and corruption in Belgium).
Like the majority of European countries, corruption figures have slightly shrunk over the last five years. “It remains a major challenge but corruption and fraud have already become less evident in recent years in major projects,” explains Mr Meulemans. “The smaller projects (for example renovation), which lower ranking state employees are competent to carry out, should not be under-estimated.”
It thus emerges from the survey that some services are particularly affected; one state employee in three has been found guilty of fraud over the long term. Some state employees may thus amass up to 2,000 euros per month, Mr Meulemans believes, fearing that the fight against this small-scale corruption is no longer being conducted with the same intensity.