Who: Corruption Perceptions Index 2015
Where: Berlin, Germany
What: Released by Transparency International
When: 27 January 2016
Transparency International on 27 January 2016 released the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2015. The Index measured the perceived levels of public sector corruption in 168 countries and territories across the world.
The CPI 2015 showed that although corruption is still rife globally, more countries improved their scores in the edition than declined. The index further suggested that people working together can succeed in the battle against corruption.
While Denmark, with rank 1, was adjudged as the most corruption-free country among the surveyed countries, India was placed at the 76th place with 38 points. India was at the 85th position among the 175 countries surveyed in the CPI 2014.
Highlights of the Index
• The index was topped by Denmark with a score of 91. It was followed by Finland and Sweden with a score of 90 and 89 respectively. While New Zealand was at the fourth place, Netherlands and Norway shared the fifth place with 87 points.
• At the bottom of the list were Angola (163), South Sudan (163), Sudan (165), Afghanistan (166) and North Korea and Somalia shared the last place at 167 with a score of 8 each.
• Overall, two-thirds of the 168 countries on the 2015 index scored below 50, on a scale from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 100 (perceived to be very clean).
• Yet in places like Guatemala, Sri Lanka and Ghana, citizen activists in groups and on their own worked hard to drive out the corrupt, sending a strong message that should encourage others to take decisive action in 2016.
• Top performers share key characteristics: 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.
• In addition to conflict and war, poor governance, weak public institutions like police and the judiciary, and a lack of independence in the media characterise the lowest ranked countries.
• The big decliners in the past 4 years include Libya, Australia, Brazil, Spain and Turkey. The big improvers include Greece, Senegal and UK.
• Brazil was the biggest decliner in the index, falling 5 points and dropping 7 positions to a rank of 76. The unfolding Petrobras scandal brought people into the streets in 2015 and the start of judicial process may help Brazil stop corruption.
• More than 6 billion people live in countries with a serious corruption problem. The scale of the issue is huge. 68 per cent of countries worldwide have a serious corruption problem and half of the G20 are among them.
• Poor countries lose 1 trillion US dollars a year to corruption.
• Five of the 10 most corrupt countries also rank among the 10 least peaceful places in the world.
• In Afghanistan, millions of dollars that should have gone on reconstruction have been reportedly wasted or stolen, seriously undermining efforts to sustain peace.
• Many “clean” countries have dodgy records overseas. For example, Sweden came third in the index, yet the Swedish-Finnish firm TeliaSonera – 37 per cent owned by the Swedish state – is facing allegations that it paid millions of dollars in bribes to secure business in Uzbekistan, which was at the 153rd in the index.
Corruption and money laundering are also problems for the other BRIC countries. South Africa was the highest ranked country in the BRICS. It is ranked 61 with a score of 44. Next among the BRICS were Brazil and India which shared the 76th position, with a score of 38. While China ranked 83, Russia was at the 119th place in the index with score 29.
Among the SAARC countries, Bhutan was ranked highest and Afghanistan was at the bottom. Bhutan was ranked 27 with a score of 65, whereas Afghanistan was ranked 166 with a score of 11. Ranks of the other SAARC countries were India (76), Sri Lanka (83), Pakistan (117), Nepal (130) and Bangladesh (139).
About Corruption Perceptions Index
• It is prepared by Transparency International (TI) which is a global coalition against corruption and The CPI 2015 is the 21st edition of the annual index.
• It is based on expert opinions of public sector corruption and countries are ranked on the basis of corruption perception score measured on the scale of 0 – 100. A score of 0 means highly corrupt country whereas a score of 100 means very clean country.
• Transparency International (TI) is based in Berlin Germany and its Managing Director is Cobus de Swardt.
• At present, TI is running a campaign called Unmask the Corrupt, urging European Union, United States and G20 countries to follow Denmark’s lead and create public registers that would make clear who really controls, or is the beneficial owner, of every company.