Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index 2012 shows corruption continues to ravage societies around the world.  Two thirds of the 176 countries ranked in the 2012 index score below 50, on a scale from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 100 (perceived to be very clean), showing that public institutions need to be more transparent, and powerful officials more accountable.

In the Corruption Perceptions Index 2012 Denmark, Finland and New Zealand tie for first place with scores of 90, helped by strong access to information systems and rules governing the behavior of those in public positions.  The top ten countries are Denmark, Finland, New Zealand, Switzerland, Singapore, Sweden, Australia, Norway, Canada, and the Netherlands.  Note, Germany 79 (Rank 13), United Kingdom 74 (Rank 17) and the USA 73 (Rank 19) are not in the league of the ten best countries.

The scores of the BRIC countries are quite low:  Brazil 43 (Rank 69), Russia 28 (Rank 133), India 36 (Rank 94), China 39 (Rank 80) and South Africa 43 (Rank 69)

Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia score 8 each (Rank 174) once again cling to the bottom rung of the index.  In these countries the lack of accountable leadership and effective public institutions underscore the need to take a much stronger stance against corruption.  Together with the three worst the last ten countries are: Sudan, Myanmar, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iraq, Venezuela and Haiti.

“Governments need to integrate anti-corruption actions into all public decision-making. Priorities include better rules on lobbying and political financing, making public spending and contracting more transparent and making public bodies more accountable to people,” said Huguette Labelle, the Chair of Transparency International.

“After a year of focus on corruption, we expect governments to take a tougher stance against the abuse of power. The Corruption Perceptions Index 2012 results demonstrate that societies continue to pay the high cost of corruption,” Labelle said.

Many of the countries where citizens challenged their leaders to stop corruption –from the Middle East to Asia to Europe – have seen their positions in the index stagnate or worsen.

Source: Transparency International