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Corruption In My Country? Of Course NOT!

No country in the world is totally free from corruption – fact. Even those countries assessed as the least corrupt internally, have been known to perpetuate corruption in those deemed to be very corrupt, usually in the name of business, or perhaps more accurately – greed.

Transparency International (TI) – an NGO founded by a few individuals in the early 1990s, now based in Berlin but present in over 100 countries – has produced figures which identify the level of “official” corruption in almost all countries, but has also identified external influences which may effect the on-going perpetration of corrupt practices in other than their own country; that is, countries scoring highly on non-corrupt practices at home may facilitate the export to, and perpetuation of corruption in countries at the other end of the scale.

perpetration of corrupt practices

To quote two examples only – TI identifies London as the world’s centre of corruption, as through unmatched influence on the global economic system, private bankers facilitate the movement of funds into and out of the city/country virtually unchecked, thus exporting the conditions necessary for wide-scale corruption to cities and countries worldwide, while simultaneously providing a safe-haven for money, legal or otherwise. Effectively, money-laundering is alive and well in and through the City of London!

Combating Foreign Bribery1Secondly, although all Scandinavian countries are assessed in the top five least corrupted, allegations that TeliaSonera – a Swedish-Finnish firm 37 per cent owned by the Swedish state – has paid bribes in the millions of dollars to secure business in Uzbekistan, ranked 153rd on the index, has seen the company now withdraw from that Asian region.

Corruption is fuelled by lack of access to any number of resources, from land to food to education, so generally the rankings of the more corrupt countries will come as no surprise. TI produces a yearly Corruption Perceptions Index, which measures levels of public sector corruption worldwide, based on the opinion of independent experts. Virtually all the highest scoring corrupt countries are involved in armed conflicts – of the bottom 20 only 10 are assessed as notionally conflict-free, but many conflicts are deemed to arise from frustrations with ‘official corruption’ anyway.

Corruption13Additionally, to demonstrate the relative lack of success in combatting corruption, the OECD Convention on Combating Foreign Bribery entered into force in 1990, but of the 41 signatory countries, half show little or no enforcement, 25% only limited enforcement, and 50% have prosecuted no foreign bribery cases at all in 25 years. Since virtually all of the signatory countries export to, and/or have direct business interests in many of the lower ranked countries, with apparently lax attitudes like these, corruption-free global trade is unlikely to be achieved any time soon, to the detriment of peoples the world over.

Somewhat alarmingly, of the 20 most corrupt countries listed, 13 have either gone backwards in combatting corruption, or are still at the same level they were three years previously. However, seven of the ‘least corrupt’ top 20 countries have also regressed somewhat or have just maintained the same level as three years previously, which does not send a very positive message to those further down the list.

Free trade benefits

Least corrupt countries (Base score 100: incorrupt):

Rank Country 2015 2014 2013 2012
1 Denmark 91 92 91 90
2 Finland 90 89 89 90
3 Sweden 89 87 89 88
4 New Zealand 88 91 91 90
5 Netherlands 87 83 83 84
6 Norway 87 86 86 85
7 Switzerland 86 86 85 86
8 Singapore 85 84 86 87
9 Canada 83 81 81 84
10 Germany 81 79 78 79
11 Luxembourg 81 82 80 80
12 United Kingdom 81 78 76 74
13 Australia 79 80 81 85
14 Iceland 79 79 78 82
15 Belgium 77 76 75 75
16 Austria 76 72 69 69
17 United States 76 74 73 73
18 Hong Kong 75 74 75 77
19 Ireland 75 74 72 69
20 Japan 75 76 74 74

Most corrupt countries (excluding those in, or effected by conflict):

Rank Country 2015 2014 2013 2012
123 Madagascar 28 28 28 32
123 Timor-Leste 28 28 30 33
130 Cameroon 27 27 25 26
130 Nepal 27 29 31 27
130 Nicaragua 27 28 28 29
130 Paraguay 27 24 24 25
136 Comoros 26 26 28 28
136 Tajikistan 26 23 22 22
139 Bangladesh 25 25 27 26
139 Guinea 25 25 24 24
139 Laos 25 25 26 21
139 Papua New Guinea 25 25 25 25
139 Uganda 25 26 26 29
150 Burundi 21 20 21 19
150 Cambodia 21 21 20 22
150 Zimbabwe 21 21 21 20
153 Uzbekistan 19 18 17 17
154 Turkmenistan 18 17 17 17
158 Haiti 17 19 19 19
158 Venezuela 17 19 20 19
163 Angola 15 19 23 22
167 Korea (North) 8 8 8 8

Enforcement Levels Combatting Foreign Bribery: overview
Active Enforcement (four countries with 23% of world exports): German, Switzerland, UK, USA
Moderate Enforcement (six countries with 9% of world exports): Austria, Australia, Canada, Finland, Italy, Norway
Limited Enforcement (nine countries with 12% of world exports): France, Greece, Hungary, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal
Little or No Enforcement (20 countries with 20% of world exports): Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Ireland, Israel, Luxembourg, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey.

Is Corruption In My Country? Of Course NOT!