2006 Corruption Perceptions Index
reinforces link between poverty and corruption
Shows the machinery of corruption remains well-oiled, despite improved legislation
Berlin, 6 November 2006 – The 2006 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), launched today by Transparency International (TI), points to a strong correlation between corruption and poverty, with a concentration of impoverished states at the bottom of the ranking.
“Corruption traps millions in poverty,” said Transparency International Chair Huguette Labelle. “Despite a decade of progress in establishing anti-corruption laws and regulations, today’s results indicate that much remains to be done before we see meaningful improvements in the lives of the world’s poorest citizens.”
The 2006 Corruption Perceptions Index is a composite index that draws on multiple expert opinion surveys that poll perceptions of public sector corruption in 163 countries around the world, the greatest scope of any CPI to date. It scores countries on a scale from zero to ten, with zero indicating high levels of perceived corruption and ten indicating low levels of perceived corruption.
A strong correlation between corruption and poverty is evident in the results of the CPI 2006. Almost three-quarters of the countries in the CPI score below five (including all low-income countries and all but two African states) indicating that most countries in the world face serious perceived levels of domestic corruption. Seventy-one countries – nearly half – score below three, indicating that corruption is perceived as rampant. Haiti has the lowest score at 1.8; Guinea, Iraq and Myanmar share the penultimate slot, each with a score of 1.9. Finland, Iceland and New Zealand share the top score of 9.6.
Countries with a significant worsening in perceived levels of corruption include: Brazil, Cuba, Israel, Jordan, Laos, Seychelles, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and the United States. Countries with a significant improvement in perceived levels of corruption include: Algeria, Czech Republic, India, Japan, Latvia, Lebanon, Mauritius, Paraguay, Slovenia, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uruguay.
A concentration of so-called ‘failed states’ is apparent at the bottom of the ranking. Iraq has sunk to second-to-last place, with pre-war survey data no longer included in this year’s CPI.
While the industrialised countries score relatively high on the CPI 2006, we continue to see major corruption scandals in many of these countries. Although corruption in this context may have less of an impact on poverty and development than in developing countries, these scandals demonstrate that there is no room for complacency.
The weak performance of many countries indicates that the facilitators of corruption continue to assist political elites to launder, store and otherwise profit from unjustly acquired wealth, which often includes looted state assets. The presence of willing intermediaries – who are often trained in or who operate from leading economies — encourages corruption; it means the corrupt know there will be a banker, accountant, lawyer or other specialist ready to help them generate, move or store their illicit income.
Kenya’s Anglo-Leasing and related scandals present a case in point, where the misappropriation of public funds was enabled through fraudulent contracts using sophisticated shell companies and bank accounts in European and off-shore jurisdictions, according to John Githongo, Kenya’s former anti-corruption tsar. And according to TI Kenya’s Kenya Brib