Friday, December 7, 2012

Transparency International's 2012 corruption index is out

There are dozens of metrics out there that measure the success (or lack thereof) of a given society—GNP, trade balance, quality of life measurements, tolerance for ethnic and sexual minorities, etc.  But for me, the single most significant measurement is "How pervasive is honesty?"  Trust is the glue that holds societies together.  Honest societies are cheaper to govern, have better relationships with their neighbors, but most importantly, have much more sophisticated and prosperous economies.  Actually measuring honesty is the hard part so Transparency International efforts here are to be applauded.

Looking at the top-ranked countries show that it's pretty obvious that if corruption (or its lack) isn't the best measurement of a successful social order, it will do until something demonstrates that it is better.

CORRUPTION PERCEPTIONS INDEX 2012

GOVERNMENTS MUST PRIORITISE THE FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION

Looking at the Corruption Perceptions Index 2012, it's clear that corruption is a major threat facing humanity. Corruption destroys lives and communities, and undermines countries and institutions. It generates popular anger that threatens to further destabilise societies and exacerbate violent conflicts.

The Corruption Perceptions Index scores countries on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). While no country has a perfect score, two-thirds of countries score below 50, indicating a serious corruption problem.

Corruption translates into human suffering, with poor families being extorted for bribes to see doctors or to get access to clean drinking water. It leads to failure in the delivery of basic services like education or healthcare. It derails the building of essential infrastructure, as corrupt leaders skim funds.

Corruption amounts to a dirty tax, and the poor and most vulnerable are its primary victims.

So, how do we counter the effects of public sector corruption?

Governments need to integrate anti-corruption actions into all aspects of decision-making. They must prioritise better rules on lobbying and political financing, make public spending and contracting more transparent, and make public bodies more accountable.

After a year with a global focus on corruption, we expected more governments to take a tougher stance against the abuse of power. The Corruption Perceptions Index results demonstrate that there are still many societies and governments that need to give a much higher priority to this issue.

FULL TABLE AND RANKINGS

The Corruption Perceptions Index ranks countries and territories based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be. A country or territory’s score indicates the perceived level of public sector corruption on a scale of 0 - 100, where 0 means that a country is perceived as highly corrupt and 100 means it is perceived as very clean. A country's rank indicates its position relative to the other countries and territories included in the index. This year's index includes 176 countries and territories. more

1 Denmark
1 Finland
1 New Zealand
4 Sweden
5 Singapore
6 Switzerland
7 Australia
7 Norway
9 Canada
9 Netherlands
11 Iceland
12 Luxembourg
13 Germany
14 Hong Kong
15 Barbados
16 Belgium
17 Japan
17 United Kingdom
19 United States
20 Chile

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