Daily Management Review

Global Corruption is Better, But It's Still Bad - Transparency International Report


Global Corruption is Better, But It's Still Bad - Transparency International Report
Although corruption is still rife globally, more countries improved their scores in the 2015 edition of Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index that declined.
According to a new report by global corruption watchdog Transparency International perceptions of public sector corruption in 168 countries is covered by the index. On a scale from 0 to 100, two-thirds, or 114, of the 168 countries on the 2015 index scored below 50. A nation is considered to be less corrupt when the scores are higher towards 100. A score of less than 50 means corruption is a serious problem.
Expert opinions of public sector corruption form the basis of the Corruption Perceptions Index. Open government where the public can hold leaders to account can help countries score high on the index. Prevalent bribery, lack of punishment for corruption and public institutions that don’t respond to citizens’ needs are some of the issues that bring down the score, the report said.
The report says that every single country is corrupt. While the global average on the report is 43, the number differs from region to region. Countries in the EU and Western Europe score an average of 67, Asia-Pacific scores 43, Americas scores 40, Mid-East and North Africa score 39, Eastern Europe and Central Asia score 33 which is the same as Sub Saharan Africa.
With North Korea and Somalia the worst performers, scoring eight points each, Denmark took the top spot for the 2nd year running.
The report said that issues like high levels of press freedom; access to budget information so the public knows where money comes from and how it is spent; high levels of integrity among people in power; and judiciaries that don’t differentiate between rich and poor, and that are truly independent from other parts of government were common issues for top performing countries in terms of the corruption index.
The report said that the characteristic of the lowest ranked countries include poor governance, weak public institutions like police and the judiciary, and a lack of independence in the media, in addition to conflict and war.
Libya, Australia, Brazil, Spain and Turkey are the big decliners in the past 4 years. Greece, Senegal and UK were the big improvers.
In Asia-Pacific, 67% of the countries had a score less than 50.
The report said that corruption would be the one common challenge to unite the Asia Pacific region.
“Between Australia’s slipping scores and North Korea’s predictably disastrous performance, this year’s index shows no significant improvement. Has Asia Pacific stalled in its efforts to fight corruption?” the report said.
The report said that while governments in Bangladesh and Cambodia are exacerbating corruption by clamping down on civil society, in India and Sri Lanka leaders are falling short of their bold promises. It further states that while China’s prosecutorial approach is a not a sustainable remedy, in Afghanistan and Pakistan a failure to tackle corruption is feeding ongoing vicious conflicts.
Since governments are the ones with the largest role and the power, governments and leaders must fulfill promises, and ensure efforts aren’t undermined in practice even as reversing corruption is clearly not the domain of governments alone.