Corruption Levels Show No Improvement, Tested in Part By COVID-19

An article by Neil Amato in the January 25, 2022 issue of FM Financial Management says that Transparency International's annual Corruption Perceptions Index shows that most countries have failed to make significant progress against stopping corruption in the past decade.

The index shows that 131 of 180 countries tracked have made no significant progress against stopping corruption in the past decade and that the pandemic "has tested top-scoring countries' resistance to corruption."

Collectively, the corruption level of countries remained the same as in recent years, at an
overall rating of 43 on a scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). Two-thirds of countries score below 50. Transparency International says that corruption enables human rights abuses and financial crimes.

"Despite the increasing international momentum to end the abuse of anonymous shell companies, many high-scoring countries with relatively 'clean' public sectors continue to enable transnational corruption," the 2021 report said.

Denmark, Finland, and New Zealand are tied for the top spot on the list, with a rating of 88. The UK is 11th (78), and the US is tied with Chile for 27th (67). That US rating is the same as last year but down from 2015's rating of 75 in the CPI.

Transparency International says people should make four demands of their governments "to end the vicious cycle of corruption, human rights violations and democratic decline":
 Uphold the rights needed to hold power to account. The report says governments should roll back disproportionate restrictions related to freedom of expression and assembly introduced at the onset of the pandemic.
 Restore and strengthen institutional checks on power. The report says that public oversight bodies such as anti-corruption agencies and audit institutions "need to be independent, well-resourced and empowered to detect and sanction wrongdoing".
 Combat transnational corruption. Progress can be made towards this objective by closing "legal loopholes" and regulating "professional enablers of financial crime."
 Uphold the right to information in government spending. The report says that countries must make good on promises made in response to the pandemic to include anti-corruption safeguards in procurement. Germany was one of several countries in which government spending on COVID-19-related safeguards was called into question.

For more, see Corruption levels show no improvement, tested in part by COVID-19 - FM (