January 24: Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for 2019 unveiled on Thursday (January 23) reveals that a majority of countries are showing little to no improvement in tackling corruption.
Analysis of Transparency International (TI) also shows corruption is more pervasive in countries where big money can flow freely into electoral campaigns and where governments listen only to the voices of wealthy or well-connected individuals, TI wrote on its website.
The index ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, according to experts and business people. It uses a scale of zero to 100, where zero is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean.
According to TI, more than two-thirds of countries scored below 50 on the CPI for 2019, with an average score of just 43. Nepal ranked below average with a score of 31and a ranking of 113 out of 180 countries despite some improvement from the previous year. In 2018, Nepal ranked 124 with a score of 31 points.
Transparency International Nepal said that despite efforts to curb corruption in Nepal, the efforts have not achieved expected results.
Similar to previous years, the data shows that despite some progress, a majority of countries are still failing to tackle public sector corruption effectively, TI said.
According to the CPI, the top countries in the latest report are New Zealand and Denmark, with scores of 87 each, followed by Finland (86), Singapore (85), Sweden (85) and Switzerland (85).
The bottom countries are Somalia, South Sudan and Syria with scores of 9, 12 and 13, respectively. These countries are closely followed by Yemen (15), Venezuela (16), Sudan (16), Equatorial Guinea (16) and Afghanistan (16).
In the last eight years, only 22 countries significantly improved their CPI scores, including Greece, Guyana and Estonia. In the same period, 21 countries significantly decreased their scores, including Canada, Australia and Nicaragua. In the remaining 137 countries, the levels of corruption show little to no change, TI further said.
This year, Western Europe and the EU is the highest scoring region with an average of 66/100, while Sub-Saharan Africa is the lowest scoring region with 32 points. Both regions have kept an unchanged average since last year.
This year, the TI research highlights the relationship between politics, money and corruption. Keeping big money out of politics is essential to ensuring political decision-making serves the public interest and curbing opportunities for corrupt deals, according to TI. Countries that perform well on the CPI have strong enforcement of campaign finance regulations.