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Transparency International launches 2010 Corruption Index

Oct 27, 2010, 3:34 PM | Article By: Nfamara Jawneh

Transparency International, a leading civil society organisation fighting corruption worldwide, yesterday released its 15th annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI).

This year’s index ranks 178 countries by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, as determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys.

The Corruption Perception Index helps to highlight the propensity of domestic corruption and its damaging influence.

In the report, Somalia was ranked the most corrupt country in the world, while Denmark, Singapore and New Zealand were ranked number one, described as the least corrupt nations in the globe.

The Gambia was ranked 91 alongside Djibouti, Guatemala, Sri Lanka and Swaziland.

The United States was ranked 22, while Senegal was at the 105th position and Nigeria was placed at 134. Botswana was ranked number one in Sub-Saharan Africa but 33 globally.

Also at the bottom of the list was Guinea ranked 164 with Kyrgyzstan and Venezuela, while Angola was ranked 168.

Iraq was at 175, while Afghanistan and Myanmar were both ranked 176. 

The 2010 list ranks six African nations among the 10 most corrupt countries, including Somalia, Sudan, Chad, Burundi, Angola and Equatorial Guinea.

The German-based group defines corruption as the abuse of entrusted power for private gain. This definition encompasses corrupt practices in both the public and private sectors.

The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) ranks countries according to perception of corruption in the public sector.

“The CPI is an aggregate indicator that combines different sources of information about corruption, making it possible to compare countries,” says the report. The 2010 CPI draws on different assessments and business opinion surveys carried out by independent and reputable institutions. It captures information about the administrative and political aspects of corruption. Broadly speaking, the surveys and assessments used to compile the index include questions relating to bribery of public officials, kick-backs in public procurement, embezzlement of public funds, and questions that probe the strength and effectiveness of public sector anti-corruption efforts.

For a country or territory to be included in the index, a minimum of three of the sources that TI uses must assess that country. Thus, inclusion in the index depends solely on the availability of information.

“Perceptions are used because corruption – whether frequency or amount – is to a great extent a hidden activity that is difficult to measure. Over time, perceptions have proved to be a reliable estimate of corruption.

“Measuring scandals, investigations or prosecutions, while offering ‘non-perception’ data, reflect less on the prevalence of corruption in a country and more on other factors, such as freedom of the press or the efficiency of the judicial system.

“TI considers it of critical importance to measure both corruption and integrity, and to do so in the public and private sectors at global, national and local levels.”

The report added that The CPI is, therefore, one of many TI measurement tools that serve the fight against corruption.