6 November 2006
Ireland ’s position improves but score remains the same
Dublin/Berlin, 6 November 2006 - The 2006 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), launched today by Transparency International (TI), points to a strong correlation between corruption and poverty, with a concentration of impoverished states at the bottom of the ranking.
“Corruption traps millions in poverty,” said Transparency International’s global Chair Huguette Labelle. “Despite a decade of progress in establishing anti-corruption laws and regulations, today’s results indicate that much remains to be done before we see meaningful improvements in the lives of the world’s poorest citizens.”
The 2006 Corruption Perceptions Index is a composite index that draws on multiple expert opinion surveys that poll perceptions of public sector corruption in 163 countries around the world, the greatest scope of any CPI to date. It scores countries on a scale from zero to ten, with zero indicating high levels of perceived corruption and ten indicating low levels of perceived corruption.
A strong correlation between corruption and poverty is evident in the results of the CPI 2006. Almost three-quarters of the countries in the CPI score below five (including all low-income countries and all but two African states) indicating that most countries in the world face serious perceived levels of domestic corruption. Seventy-one countries - nearly half - score below three, indicating that corruption is perceived as rampant. Haiti has the lowest score at 1.8; Guinea, Iraq and Myanmar share the penultimate slot, each with a score of 1.9.
Ireland ’s position has improved on last year’s from 19 th to 18 th position though its score remains static at 7.4. This is well short of leaders Finland, Iceland and New Zealand who share the top score of 9.6. The United Kingdom is placed at 11 th place with a score of 8.6 out of 10.
Of Irish Aid’s programme countries (developing countries receiving the bulk of Ireland’s bilateral aid), Uganda has made the most progress: its score has risen from 2.5 to 2.7, moving 12 places from 117 to 105. Ethiopia has also seen an improvement in perceptions with its score rising from 2.2 last year to 2.4. Other programme countries including Mozambique, Tanzania, Viet Nam and Zambia have seen their scores remain unchanged from last year.
“The index shows that no country is completely free of corruption so none have any room for complacency,” said TI Ireland Chief Executive John Devitt. “More needs to be done to prevent corruption at home and far more done in Ireland to help combat corruption overseas”.
TI has called on the Irish Government to lend much greater technical and financial assistance to partner country governments, parliaments and civil society to fight corruption. It has also urged the Government to ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption early next year.
A TI report earlier this year showed that while a number of foreign bribery allegations had been made against Irish companies recently, no official investigations had ever taken place. Implementation of the UN Convention should also see stronger safeguards against corruption in Ireland with the establishment of specialised agencies to tackle bribery and legal protections introduced to protect whistleblowers.
The weak performance of many countries indicates that the facilitators of corruption continue to assist political elites through bribery and laundering looted state assets. The presence of willing intermediaries – who are often trained in or who operate from leading economies -- encourages corruption; it means the corrupt know there will be a banker, accountant, lawyer or other specialist ready to help them generate, move or store their illicit income.
Kenya’s Anglo-Leasing and related scandals present a case in point, where the misappropriation of public funds was enabled through fraudulent contracts using sophisticated shell companies and bank accounts in European and off-shore havens, according to John Githongo, Kenya’s former anti-corruption tsar. And according to TI Kenya’s Kenya Bribery Index, bribery costs Kenyans about US $1 billion each year, yet more than half live on less than US $2 per day.
Acts of corruption involve a giver (the supply side) and a taker (the demand side). TI advocates strong measures to curb bribery’s supply side, including the criminalisation of overseas bribery under the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, as well as its demand side, including disclosure of assets for public officials and adoption of codes of conduct.
Full Report (TI Global Site)