Transparency International Australia (TIA) has warned that the Asia-Pacific region has some of the most corrupt public sectors in the world, according to the global Corruption Perceptions Index for 2012 released late today.
TIA Executive Director, Michael Ahrens, said that the Corruption Perceptions Index highlights that Australian business must operate with caution and diligence, especially as Australia prepares to play a significant role in the ‘Asian Century’.
‘More than 70 percent of countries in the Asia-Pacific region have public sectors that are perceived to pose a serious corruption risk,’ Mr Ahrens said.
‘India, China, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam all ranked poorly on the corruption awareness index.
‘Awareness of the extent of corruption risk that exists so close to home is the first step to solving the problem.
‘Transparency International Australia is concerned that these challenges to be faced may not be sufficiently recognised by business leaders in this country.’
Citi Investment Research director, Elaine Prior, said corruption posed considerable risk to business operations.
‘Our clients are the major superannuation funds and equities fund managers,’ Ms Prior said.
‘They’re increasingly looking at how companies they invest in address possible risks posed by bribery and corruption, which can range from legal risks to reputation risks.’
‘With more Australian companies operating in developing countries – whether banks or resource companies – the issues they face in this area are growing.
‘We’ve used TIA’s Corruption Perception Index to help us to identify where companies may face the highest risks and challenges.
‘We then look at what companies disclose about how they are managing these risks – things like their policies, training, and monitoring – and even whether they have a publicly visible policy on bribery and corruption at all.’
The full Corruption Perceptions Index ranking and regional tables can be found at: www.transparency.org/cpi
Michael Ahrens | 0411360 209 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Ben Jackson| 02 9904 4333 | 0417 407 565 | email@example.com