Archive for October 26th, 2010

October 26, 2010

The message is clear: across the globe, transparency and accountability are critical to restoring trust and turning back the tide of corruption

Russia Sinks in Corruption Ratings; Somalia Ranks Worst. Laos Ranks at 154th with CPI Score 2.1

Cached:  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303390704575575911288220380.html

By IRA IOSEBASHVILI

MOSCOW—Russia became more corrupt in the last year, placing alongside Haiti and Tajikistan in an annual corruption index despite President Dmitry Medvedev’s pledge to battle graft, a ranking by Transparency International showed Tuesday.

John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images Huguette Labelle, head of Transparency International

Russia fell to 154th—down from 146th last year—on Transparency International’s 2010 International Corruption Perceptions Index, which ranks 178 countries from least to most corrupt.

It was ranked as the most corrupt economy in the Group of 20 nations, and the most corrupt country in Europe, with Moldova, the next most corrupt European nation, finishing in 105th place.

Russia also placed worst among the so-called BRIC countries—Brazil, Russia, India and China.

“It is becoming completely obvious that the government’s anti-corruption policy is at a dead end,” said Yelena Panfilova, head of Transparency International in Russia.

The world’s least corrupt countries are Denmark, New Zealand and Singapore, according to the data showed. The most corrupt is Somalia, followed by Afghanistan, Myanmar and Iraq.

Moscow’s slide in the rankings may provide ammunition for Mr. Medvedev’s critics, who claim that little has changed since he declared war on corruption after replacing Vladimir Putin in 2008.

Indeed, even Mr. Medvedev—widely seen as the less powerful half of a ruling elite made up of himself and Mr. Putin, who is now prime minister—has seemed to have given up. Although he launched the “Forward, Russia” anti-corruption campaign last October, by July the president admitted that it had brought no results.

Corruption develops “when society is closed, when there are no controls over the government, when there is no punishment for giving or receiving bribes,” said Yevgeny Arkhipov, head of the Association of Russian Attorneys for Human Rights. “All of these conditions exist today in Russia.”

A report by Mr. Arkhipov’s organization released earlier this year found that corruption in the country generates $650 billion annually, an amount equal to half last year’s gross domestic product.

Former CIS state Georgia, which enacted massive reforms under President Mikheil Saakashvili and lost a war to Russia in 2008, finished in 68th place, just below Italy.

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With governments committing huge sums to tackle the world’s most pressing problems, from the instability of financial markets to climate change and poverty, corruption remains an obstacle to achieving much needed progress. The 2010 Corruption Perceptions Index shows that nearly three quarters of the 178 countries in the index score below five, on a scale from 10 (highly clean) to 0 (highly corrupt). These results indicate a serious corruption problem.

To address these challenges, governments need to integrate anti-corruption measures in all spheres, from their responses to the financial crisis and climate change to commitments by the international community to eradicate poverty. Transparency International advocates stricter implementation of the UN Convention against Corruption, the only global initiative that provides a framework for putting an end to corruption. Denmark, New Zealand and Singapore are tied at the top of the list with a score of 9.3, followed closely by Finland and Sweden at 9.2. Bringing up the rear is Somalia with a score of 1.1, slightly trailing Myanmar and Afghanistan at 1.4 and Iraq at 1.5.

Notable among decliners over the past year are some of the countries most affected by a financial crisis precipitated by transparency and integrity deficits. Among those improving in the past year, the general absence of OECD states underlines the fact that all nations need to bolster their good governance mechanisms. The message is clear: across the globe, transparency and accountability are critical to restoring trust and turning back the tide of corruption. Without them, global policy solutions to many global crises are at risk.

Read the Report

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Press Release:

Response to global crises must prioritise zero
tolerance for corruption
Berlin, 26 October 2010 — With governments committing huge sums to tackle the
world’s most pressing problems, from the instability of financial markets to climate
change and poverty, corruption remains an obstacle to achieving much needed
progress, according to Transparency International’s 2010 Corruption Perceptions Index
(CPI), a measure of domestic, public sector corruption released today.
The 2010 CPI shows that nearly three quarters of the 178 countries in the index score
below five, on a scale from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 10 (perceived to have
low levels of corruption), indicating a serious corruption problem.
“These results signal that significantly greater efforts must go into strengthening
governance across the globe. With the livelihoods of so many at stake, governments’
commitments to anti-corruption, transparency and accountability must speak through
their actions. Good governance is an essential part of the solution to the global policy
challenges governments face today,” said Huguette Labelle, Chair of Transparency
International (TI).
To fully address these challenges, governments need to integrate anti-corruption
measures in all spheres, from the responses to the financial crisis and climate change to
commitments by the international community to eradicate poverty. For this reason TI
advocates stricter implementation of the UN Convention against Corruption, the only
global initiative that provides a framework for putting an end to corruption.
“Allowing corruption to continue is unacceptable; too many poor and vulnerable people
continue to suffer its consequences around the world. We need to see more
enforcement of existing rules and laws. There should be nowhere to hide for the corrupt
or their money,” said Labelle.
Corruption Perceptions Index 2010: The results
In the 2010 CPI, Denmark, New Zealand and Singapore tie for first place with scores of
9.3. Unstable governments, often with a legacy of conflict, continue to dominate the
bottom rungs of the CPI. Afghanistan and Myanmar share second to last place with a
score of 1.4, with Somalia coming in last with a score of 1.1.
Where source surveys for individual countries remain the same, and where there is
corroboration by more than half of those sources, real changes in perceptions can be
ascertained. Using these criteria, it is possible to establish an improvement in scores
from 2009 to 2010 for Bhutan, Chile, Ecuador, FYR Macedonia, Gambia, Haiti, Jamaica,
Kuwait, and Qatar. Similarly, a decline in scores from 2009 to 2010 can be identified for
the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Madagascar, Niger and the United States.
Financial Fallout
Notable among decliners are some of the countries most affected by a financial crisis
precipitated by transparency and integrity deficits. Among those improving, the general
absence of OECD states underlines the fact that all nations need to bolster their good
governance mechanisms.
TI’s assessment of 36 industrialised countries party to the OECD anti-bribery
convention, which forbids bribery of foreign officials, reveals that as many as 20 show
little or no enforcement of the rules, sending the wrong signal about their commitment to
curb corrupt practices. While corruption continues to plague fledgling states, hampering
their efforts to build and strengthen institutions, protect human rights and improve
livelihoods, corrupt international flows continue to be considerable.
“The results of this year’s CPI show again that corruption is a global problem that must
be addressed in global policy reforms. It is commendable that the Group of 20 in
pursuing financial reform has made strong commitments to transparency and integrity
ahead of their November summit in Seoul,” said Labelle. “But the process of reform itself
must be accelerated.”
TI calls on the G20 to mandate greater government oversight and public transparency in
all measures they take to reduce systemic risks and opportunities for corruption and
fraud in the public as well as in the private sector.
The message is clear: across the globe, transparency and accountability are critical to
restoring trust and turning back the tide of corruption. Without them, global policy
solutions to many global crises are at risk.
#
Transparency International is the global civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption
Note to Editors: The CPI is a composite index, drawing on 13 different expert and business
surveys. Source surveys for the 2010 CPI were conducted between January 2009 and

September 2010.
Media Contact
Deborah Wise Unger
Tel: +49 30 34 38 20 662 or
+49 30 34 38 20 666
Email: press@transparency.org

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