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Jamais Cascio, 20 Oct 04

Transparency International released its Corruption Perceptions Index today. Finland once again topped the list of transparent, non-corrupt countries, with New Zealand, Denmark and Iceland close behind. The UK was #11, Canada #12, and the United States an also-ran at #17 (along with Belgium and Ireland), just behind Hong Kong and a bit ahead of France & Spain (at #20). As disappointing as those results are, they are only the tip of the corruption iceberg:

A total of 106 out of 146 countries score less than 5 against a clean score of 10, according to the new index, published today by Transparency International, the leading non-governmental organisation fighting corruption worldwide. Sixty countries score less than 3 out of 10, indicating rampant corruption. Corruption is perceived to be most acute in Bangladesh, Haiti, Nigeria, Chad, Myanmar, Azerbaijan and Paraguay, all of which have a score of less than 2.

“Corruption robs countries of their potential,” said Eigen. “As the Corruption Perceptions Index 2004 shows, oil-rich Angola, Azerbaijan, Chad, Ecuador, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Libya, Nigeria, Russia, Sudan, Venezuela and Yemen all have extremely low scores. In these countries, public contracting in the oil sector is plagued by revenues vanishing into the pockets of western oil executives, middlemen and local officials.”

The Frequently Asked Questions page lays out the CPI's definition of corruption:

The CPI focuses on corruption in the public sector and defines corruption as the abuse of public office for private gain. The surveys used in compiling the CPI ask questions that relate to the misuse of public power for private benefit, with a focus, for example, on bribe-taking by public officials in public procurement. The sources do not distinguish between administrative and political corruption or between petty and grand corruption.

We've written about corruption and transparency before -- they were the subject of one of our first posts, in fact -- and for good reason. Corruption is one of the key stumbling blocks to building a better world. Efforts like the CPI to bring data about corruption into the open are extremely valuable: as the saying goes, sunlight is the best disinfectant.

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looks like the Nigerian government is not so happy about this report.

ps. I had issues linking??

Posted by: Cameron Sinclair on 21 Oct 04

“Corruption robs countries of their potential”

as any Civ 3 player knows :)

Posted by: scarabic on 25 Oct 04



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