Corruption Perception Index 2020Approx Read Time: 5 min
- The Transparency International recently released the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2020.
Corruption Perception Index:
- The index released annually by Transparency International, ranks 180 countries by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and business people.
- It uses a scale of zero to 100, where zero signifies the highest level of corruption and 100 is very clean.
- Denmark and New Zealand topped the list with scores of 88, followed by Finland, Singapore, Sweden and Switzerland (85 each).
- Syria with a score of 14, Somalia and South Sudan with scores of 12 each come last on the CPI 2020.
- The data shows that despite some progress, most countries still fail to tackle corruption effectively.
- Like in previous years, more than two-thirds of countries scored below 50 in CPI 2020, with a global average score of just 43.
- Since 2012, 26 countries have significantly improved their CPI scores and the CPI scores have decreased in 22 countries.
- Nearly half the countries have been stagnant on the index for almost a decade, indicating lack of government efforts to tackle the root causes of corruption.
Highlights from Asia Pacific:
- The average score in the Asia-Pacific region, which covers 31 countries, is 45.
- In the Asia Pacific region, New Zealand was the top performer. Other top-scoring countries in this region were Singapore (85), Australia (77) and Hong Kong (77).
- India’s ranking on the CPI 2020 slipped from 80 to 86 even as its score decreased only by one point to 40 (in 2020) from 41 in 2019.
- India’s score of 40 is below both the global average and the Asia-Pacific average. India’s score is also lower than that of China, which scored 42 with a rank of 78. However, Pakistan, fared poorly with a score of 31 and a rank of 124.
Impact of corruption in a public health emergency:
- Corruption poses a critical threat to citizens’ lives and livelihoods, especially when combined with a public health emergency. Clean public sectors correlate with greater investment in health care.
- Uruguay, that has the highest CPI score in Latin America (71), invests heavily in health care, which aided its response to COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, like yellow fever and Zika.
- In contrast, Bangladesh scores just 26 and invests little in health care due to which there is high corruption during COVID-19, ranging from bribery in health clinics to misappropriated aid (aid not reaching the actual beneficiaries).
- Countries with higher corruption levels also tend to be the worst violators of rule of law and democratic institutions during the COVID-19 crisis.
- Governments must ensure open and transparent contracting to identify conflicts of interest and ensure fair pricing.
- Governments must strengthen oversight institutions to ensure resources reach those most in need. Anti-corruption authorities and oversight institutions must have sufficient funds, resources and independence to perform their duties.
- Governments must publish relevant data and guarantee access to information to ensure the public receives easy, accessible, timely and meaningful information.
- Governments must also work to defend democracy and promote civic space to create the conditions to increase accountability of governments.
About: Transparency International (TI)
- Transparency International (TI) is an international non-governmental organization which is based in Berlin, Germany, and was founded in 1993.
- It has a vision of a world in which government, politics, business, civil society and the daily lives of people are free of corruption.
- Its mission is to stop corruption and promote transparency, accountability and integrity at all levels and across all sectors of society.