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The 2017 Corruption Perceptions Index, launched by Transparency International, reveals some disturbing information – despite attempts to combat corruption around the world, the majority of countries are moving too slowly in their efforts. While stemming the tide against corruption takes time, in the last six years many countries have still made little to no progress.
Even more alarming, further analysis of the index results indicates that countries with the lowest protections for press and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) also tend to have the worst rates of corruption.
The Index, which ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and business leaders, uses a scale of 0 to 100, where 100 is the cleanest, and 0 is the most corrupt.
The CPI scores and ranks the perception of corruption on a number of corrupt behaviours in the public sector from bribery to the diversion of public funds. It also looks at the mechanisms available to prevent corruption, such as the government’s ability to enforce integrity mechanisms, access to information and the legal protection for whistleblowers, journalists and investigators.
What's Australia's Score?
Despite attempts to combat corruption around the world, the majority of countries are moving too slowly in their efforts – including Australia, who has continued to slide.
While Australia’s ranking has not changed – 13th for three years running – and it may appear we are holding ground, our CPI score has notably decreased over the last six years.
In 2012, Australia scored 85 out of 100. Today, in the latest CPI, Australia has slipped 8 points, receiving a score of 77, and remains outside the top 10 countries. Australia scored 79 in 2016.
The 2017 CPI results indicate that more needs to be done to strengthen Australia’s national integrity system.
How do we compare?
In the 2017 CPI, several countries significantly improved their CPI score, such as Côte d’Ivoire, Sénégal and the United Kingdom, while several countries declined, including Syria, Yemen and Australia.
Within the Asia Pacific region, where the regional average score is 44.39, New Zealand, scored 89, and now ranks number one in the world on the CPI. Close neighbours, Singapore, scored 84, with Indonesia scoring 37 and PNG scoring 29.
In comparison to Australia’s declining score, the UK, over the last six years, has improved its score from 74 to 82.
Most African countries scored well below 50. Australia is the largest miner on the continent, with 140 ASX companies alone operating in 34 countries across Africa.