New Corruption Index Released

October 27, 2010 International Tax Cooperation

Cash DepositThe 2010 edition of the international Corruption Perception Index has been released, ranking New Zealand, Denmark and Singapore as the least corrupt countries in the world.

On October 27th Transparency International (TI) published the latest edition of its annual Corruption Perception Index (CPI). The yearly publication aims to rank nations based on the perceived effects of corruption on their business and public sectors. The information is based on aggregate information on the topic from national business surveys and research conducted by special interest groups. According to TI the index considers many forms of corruption, including “bribery of public officials, kickbacks in public procurement, embezzlement of public funds, and questions that probe the strength and effectiveness of public sector anti-corruption efforts.”

According to the Index New Zealand, Denmark and Singapore are the least corrupt countries in the world, each scoring 9.3 points, out of a possible 10. On the CPI’s scale, a score of 10 is meant to signify a “Very Clean” country, while 0 is regarded as “Highly Corrupt”. Somalia, Sudan and Chad were ranked as the most corrupt countries with scores of 1.1, 1.6 and 1.7 points respectively. The UK and US were ranked as the 20th and 22nd least corrupt countries, with scores of 7.6 and 7.1 respectively. Russia, India, China and Brazil were ranked 154th, 87th, 78th and 69th respectively, with scores of 2.1, 3.3, 3.5 and 3.7. Of all the ranked nations, 41.5 percent received a score of 2.9 or less. Another 45.5 percent were allocated scores of between 3 and 6.9. The remaining 13 percent of nations were regarded as those with relatively low levels of corruption.

Regionally, Canada was ranked as the least corrupt nation on the American continents, with the 6th position on the international list. In the Pacific region, New Zealand and Australia were the “cleanest nations”, with global rankings of 1st-equal and 8th. Across Asia, Singapore and Hong Kong were ranked top, at 1st-equal and 13th. Denmark and Finland were the least corrupt in the European Union, at 1st-equal and 4th in the world. In the Middle East Qatar was ranked top in the region and 19th in the world. On the Africa continent Botswana was the cleanest nation, with a global placing of 33rd. Slovenia and Estonia were ranked as the top of Eastern Europe, and 26th and 27th in the world.

Over the course of 2010, Bhutan, Chile, Ecuador, Macedonia, Gambia, Haiti, Jamaica, Kuwait and Qatar were reported to have improved their standings in the CPI. However, the US, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Madagascar and Niger all deteriorated over the same timeframe.

The report opted to rank nations based on the perception of the effects of corruption as seen by its business and private community, as opposed to the measuring prosecutions and available information on committed corruption. Subsequently, the index is thought to be a more accurate measure of the pressure that corruption has on businesses and the general public. According to the report which accompanies the CPI, the countries which experienced the heaviest standings decline were also some of the hardest hit by the recent economic recession. Sufficient anti-corruption measures could have helped prevent such heavy falls, and could also aid other efforts like anti-poverty projects and climate change commitments.

Photo by Ninja M.