State corruption rife worldwide, says bribery watchdog

28 October 2010
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28 October 2010 | Angeline Albert  

Most governments are considered to be seriously corrupt to the detriment of international supply chains, according to Transparency International (TI)

Based on perceived corruption levels among public officials, TI’s 2010 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), out this week, shows almost 75 per cent of the 178 countries surveyed scored below five, on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 10 (least corrupt).

Huguette Labelle, chair of TI, said: “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.”

There was a decline in scores from 2009 to 2010 for the United States (7.1), Czech Republic, Greece and Italy. Japan scored 7.8, China scored 3.5 and India 3.3. Somalia was considered the most corrupt scoring 1.1. 

For the third year, the UK has slid down the international corruption ratings, scoring 7.6 – its all-time-lowest rating. Down on last year’s 7.7 score, the UK now ranks 20th out of 178. Despite progress on enforcing the OECD Anti-bribery Convention and the passing of the UK Bribery Act, TI believes the score reflects criticism of the UK by the OECD’s Working Group on Bribery and the impact of the MPs’ expenses scandal on international opinion.

TI’s assessment of 36 countries party to the OECD anti-bribery convention, which forbids bribery of foreign officials, reveals that 20 show little or no enforcement of anti-corruption rules.

Denmark, New Zealand and Singapore are considered the least corrupt with scores of 9.3.

Labelle added: “With the livelihoods of so many at stake, governments’ commitments to anti-corruption, transparency and accountability must speak through their actions. 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. We need to see more enforcement of existing rules and laws.”

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